Being tall has been linked to a greater risk of 10 common cancers, and scientists can’t figure out why. They think it might be because tall people have more CELLS which can be invaded by the disease.
For every four inches above five feet in height, a person has a 16% increased risk of coming down with cancer. Statistics show that people in the tallest group, over 5 feet, 9inches, were 37% more likely to have developed a tumor than those in the shortest group, who were under 5 feet tall.
In BBC News, James Gallagher quotes researcher Jane Green as saying, "Obviously height itself cannot affect cancer, but it may be a marker for something else."
Cancer has been linked to being overweight–a 10 point increase in your Body Mass Index increases your risk of breast cancer by around 40%–but at least there’s something you can do about that. When it comes to your height, you’re helpless.
But at least there’s good news too: Being tall has been linked to reduced rates of heart disease. Gallagher quotes cancer researcher Caitlin Palframan as saying,"The big question is why this connection exists. If we can unravel why height affects the risk of cancer it will lead us closer to understanding how some cancers develop."
He quotes cancer researcher Sara Hiom as saying, "Tall people need not be alarmed by these results. Most people are not a lot taller, or shorter, than average, and their height will only have a small effect on their individual cancer risk."
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