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Cancer is Greater Threat to the Tall

Research suggests that tall women have a greater risk of developing a wide range of cancers.

By | July 21, 2011

FLICKR, FUNKDOOBY

Height can provide people with a lot of advantages, as evidenced by our species’ evolutionary path to bipedalism, but according to new research, tall women are also at a greater risk of cancer—for every 10cm (4 inches) in height, the risk increased by 16 percent.

The study, published yesterday (July 20) in The Lancet Oncology, analyzed results from previous studies in combination with data collected from 1.3 million middle-aged women in the United Kingdom, which included nearly 100,000 cases of cancer. Taller women were found to be at an increased risk of breast, ovary, womb, and bowel cancers, as well as leukaemia and malignant melanoma. The association—which has also been suggested in earlier work, though in fewer types of cancer—could help explain increases in the number of cancer cases in the past century, as average height has also increased.

“The link between height and cancer risk seems to be common to many different types of cancer and in different people; suggesting that there may be a basic common mechanism, perhaps acting early in peoples' lives, when they are growing,” study author Jane Green of the University of Oxford said in a press release.

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Comments

Avatar of: Robo407

Anonymous

July 25, 2011

Could this be because taller people have more cells and therefore more opportunities for transformation to malignancy?  If each cell has the same risk of becoming malignant, then more cells means more risk of cancer for an individual person.

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Posts: 0

July 25, 2011

Could this be because taller people have more cells and therefore more opportunities for transformation to malignancy?  If each cell has the same risk of becoming malignant, then more cells means more risk of cancer for an individual person.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

July 25, 2011

Could this be because taller people have more cells and therefore more opportunities for transformation to malignancy?  If each cell has the same risk of becoming malignant, then more cells means more risk of cancer for an individual person.

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