Published: Sat, October 27, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Being tall can increase cancer risk

Being tall can increase cancer risk

A new study on cancer won't make for pleasant reading for tall people.

Analysis of more than 1,000,000 people showed a correlation between height and the disease, potentially because taller people have more cells that can turn cancerous. However, the risk of the majority of the 23 cancers studied in this round of research can be explained simply by the fact that there are more cells in the body of a taller person when compared to someone of shorter stature. The surprisingly simple reason? They have more cells, and thus more things go can wrong in those cells, explains the Guardian.

Researchers in the United States examined populations across three continents and found that the risk of contracting cancer for both men and women increased 10 per cent for every 10 centimetres in height.

But she said the argument was compelling: "The simplifications seem reasonable, and therefore the main study conclusion is probably going to be the best-supported one available at present: namely that for most cancer types, cell number can predict sufficiently well the numerical relations between height and cancer, with no need to suggest additional factors". Being taller did not increase the risk of oesophageal, stomach, mouth or cervical cancer in women, while in men it did not increase stomach cancer risk.

Each of the study chosen had to include 10,000 cancer cases for each sex. Was there some weird cellular quirk in taller people that was increasing instances of cancer, or maybe some link between the roles of genes associated with height and cancer-causing mechanisms later in life? The findings of the report have been disclosed by the Royal Society, which showed that for each 10cm of increased height among women, there was a 13 percent increase in cancer risk.

Як ріст людини впливає на розвиток раку- 24 Канал
A greater number of cells in the body is the cause of high cancer risk

Cancer develops when the body's normal controls on cell growth stop working, leading to the runaway creation of abnormal cells that manifests as tumours.

For the study, the team compiled data from four large-scale studies on 23 cancer types in the UK, US, South Korea, Austria, Norway and Sweden. They also have a risk of cancer that is typically 50 per cent lower than that of an average person.

"'If you consider a very tall woman, say 6'2" (188cm), then you'd expect 67/500'.

But she noted that the increase in risk of developing cancer is small compared to the effects that lifestyle changes can have.

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