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Cancer’s Scary Link to Height

Cancer’s Scary Link to Height

If you’ve ever been jealous of long-legged supermodels it might be time to reconsider the advantages of being short. According to new research published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, there is a link between height and cancer risk. Researchers found a surprising correlation between the height of postmenopausal women and their risk for cancer after studying over 20,900 women aged 50 to 79.

The women were divided into 5 groups depending on their height, starting with women under 5’1. They analyzed data on the women and assessed their risk of developing melanoma, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, and colon cancer. They found that for every 4 inches taller a woman is, her risk of developing a range of different cancers increases by 13 percent. Taller women also had a 23 to 29 percent greater risk of developing kidney, rectum, thyroid, and blood cancers.

All of the cancers tested had a positive association with height. None of the tall women had a lower cancer risk compared to shorter women.

But the study authors caution that the results don’t imply that cancer is inevitable for every tall woman. Here’s what the study authors say about the unusual connection: “Adult height is determined both by genetics and by early life exposures, and environmental circumstances influence the attainment of one’s genetic potential. The influence of environmental exposures on height is evidenced by the secular increase in the height of populations in many countries beginning in the 19th century, probably reflecting improvements in hygiene and nutrition. Height should thus be thought of as a marker for one or more exposures that influence cancer risk rather than a risk factor itself.”

The cancer-height connection isn’t a women’s only concern. Earlier research on men at the National Cancer Institute also found that an increase in height was linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer. Still other research conducted at the Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute in Nagoya, Japan found that tall men were at an increased risk of malignant lymphoma and plasma cell myeloma. The latter study’s scientists concluded that the early life exposure to growth-related hormones including insulin-like growth factors and growth hormones, or genetic factors relating to height may cause the cancer-height connection.

If you’re tall, you may have a higher risk of cancer but there are many things tall and petite people alike can do to significantly reduce cancer risk. Check out my article Lower Your Cancer Risk by 44% for one really simple way to slash cancer risk. Also read 11 Reasons to Love Tomatoes to learn how tomatoes can help reduce the risk of some cancers. And increasing your intake of just one nutrient can also help protect you against cancer. Discover the mineral in Nutrient Slashes Risk of Cancer. Discover more anti-cancer strategies in my e-book Cancer-Proof.

Subscribe to my free e-magazine Worlds Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow me on my site, Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

27 Top Cancer-Fighting Foods

Read more: Blogs, Body Image, Cancer, General Health, Michelle Schoffro Cook, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 17-time book author and board-certified doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and her new book The Probiotic Promise. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World's Healthiest News at to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.


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12:30AM PDT on Sep 6, 2013


1:59AM PDT on Sep 4, 2013

I Shared on my facebook

1:24AM PDT on Sep 4, 2013

The words restriction here isnt helping.I think i found you on facebook.We may chat there if you accept and when you have time.

1:15AM PDT on Sep 4, 2013

I ask personaly,and you respond for the entire world and the decade of 1910. If you dont want to answer personaly give your mail to chat there.Anyway,i dont think that poor africans and indians are online right now and check this comments. I guess that other tall,young,or maybe isecure teenagers people are reading these.228 comments,10 are yours,5 are mine.How many do you think they read if you answer personaly?The last comment before mine was in August.The wordl isnt going to change if you asnwer to what i asked you.Anyway,as i said,i will try to advertise you and to change the bias for tall people(Again,in america you seem to give more importance to height than in greece).Short people dont get mocked here,trust me.Actually,there are a lot of cliches and prejustice for tall people too.

7:42PM PDT on Sep 3, 2013

To young man and dog,

Sounds like you have good genes.

As far as heart disease goes, it is true that most studies find taller people in the Western world have less than shorter people. However, I had a paper published in the Indian Heart Journal this year and explained why. The main reasons are that more tall people come from higher income families and shorter people tend to be overweight or obese.

In reality, shorter people have inherently less risk for heart disease based on the following facts:

1. Women are shorter than men and have less heart disease.

2. Around 1900, coronary heart disease was rare in Europe and the U.S. Yet, both men and women were much shorter than they are today. Why do we high rates of heart disease if being taller is associated with lower heart disease?

3. In the 1960s, Greece had much lower heart disease than the taller Northern Europeans. Today, there is an alarming increase in risk factors. The Greeks are also taller than they were. Actually, the people in Crete had 1/10 the heart disease of Northern Europeans and averaged about 5'5" in the 1960s.

4. In the mid 20th century, there was no coronary heart disease or strokes in Fiji, the Cook Islands, the Solomon islands, Papua New Guinea, the Kalahari Bushmen, and the Congo Pygmies. Yet, these people ranged in height from slightly over 4' to 5'4". No country in Europe can match this record.

5. Egenvall found that Great Danes had 70 times the risk of heart failure compared t

7:16PM PDT on Sep 3, 2013

In response to the young man with the dog.

Many great people are tall. However, our society tends to ignore the achievements of short people and I'm trying to show that they deserve more credit for their accomplishments than they get. In either case, I am in no way denigrating tall people--they are people just like average and short people.

You are right that advances in medicine will allow tall people to live longer. However, I would prefer to see us live long through natural means. In addition, another important point is that a world of taller, heavier people place greater demands on its resources and livability. More and bigger people mean we need more food, water, energy and other resources. In addition, bigger people create more pollution and accelerate global warming through their increased needs for energy and food.

Yes, many people don't agree with my findings but apparently many scientists do. Otherwise, I wouldn't have roughly 40 peer-reviewed scientific and medical articles published on human body size. You can always find contradictory evidence in studies on human health and longevity. I believe that my research is broad based and includes findings from all around the world. I also provide biological explanations for the greater longevity of shorter people. Few people on my opposing side offer any except that a healthful childhood environment promotes growth and health.

You should not worry about your height. It is more important to practice good healt

11:41AM PDT on Sep 3, 2013

If you check out this IMDB list of tall actors,you will see
With the modern sciense and with our young age will being tall prevent us from living a lot and healthy? Lets see.Can our tall height even turn up to be an advantage??
This is a personal issue.I swear that i will advertise you and short people as much as i can and i will try to make tall people shorter.I hope the average height in 100 years will be 5'1''.
Now i am asking about me. I will realy like a respond.
I have mailed to a lot of cancer researchers and they told me that i shouldt worry.Also i have find contrary to your fidings.I have no find contrary to cancer-height thing this is why when i will get around 40ies i will check up a lot(or earlier?i think it is too much).I dont reject yout fidings.Actually i believe you 100%,however you seem to loose a point.You have to be objective and care about all people,and the people that bad or good,now they are tall and they wont get shorter.
Now i will make this a little more personal.How would you feel if you had children or grandchildren who were tall (you may do)Of course i guess you would find a way to make them not grow tall?Or tall friends? What would you think about theme? Would you consider them ''worst'' than other people?I am dying to know.

11:40AM PDT on Sep 3, 2013

When they say that a tall women has around 35 % more chances to get cancer you add that to the 25% chances we all have on average??So it is 60% to get cancer just because we are tall?Or i missunderstood?
Even if we are about to die sooner does this studies apply to people on their 70ies or much younger people.Of course i know that there are other factors like food,genetics,smoking, adn even luck.I know i overreact and i am not as immature as i sound... I was trying to find tall people who lived a lot and i found a lot of actors Christopher Lee,George Kennedy,Jack Palance,Max von Skydrow,Morgan freeman,
Geoffrey Holder,James Cromwell and others.These guys are at least 6'3'' and alive at their 80ies.This isnt cementerian,but reaching 85 and die then is fine with me.
A tall women doesnt enjoy the longlife benefits a shorter one does?Can a tall girl live a long and healthy life? (i dont care about me)

11:39AM PDT on Sep 3, 2013

We both have good but no flawless family history,but no cancer on a close relative.We are in a wealthy family (we are not rich but definetly not poor).I also have notice that we dont get sick,almost never,we dont even get colds,despite the fact that as teenagers we grow up a lot and you say this is bad.
I dont care only for my gfriend but for my parents also but they are on their 50's so i cant change anything now.Do you have a an opinion for us? Again,we dont have anything against small people.Actually we get along fine and in greece we dont use to give importance to others height.
Last but not least,our height is ''natural'' not ''technical'' We both have tall parents and granparents and of course we didnt take any medication to grow tall or eat a lot of meat.I dont think than in my 21 years i eat meat that isnt chicken more than once in 3 weeks or even rarer.
I also read,and to my huge surprise ,on one of YOURS studies,that despite the fact short people are stronger in relation to their body,taller people have greater strength and can get stronger than smaller ones,and that taller people in high-income industrialised countries tend to have less cardiovascular disease and to live longer.
Enough with those. I may be 100 % wrong and having 1000 devestrating disadvantages.

11:38AM PDT on Sep 3, 2013

@Thomas Samaras
Because i am 6'4'' and yout research suggests that this is an unhealthy height i kept reading a lot of studies like this and i saw that there are scientists that suggest that tanless has advantages and tall people of good econimic status have better heart than shorter ones.Many doctors also say that nowdays,in rich countires,tall height is a clue of healthy childhood and tall people have also chances for a heatlhy life.I can also say that you base your research,wich i respect and accept,to people who are dead now so they had more difficult childhood than my generation,present people,and that you dont like to refer to talness advantages and you tend to dramatise thinks.
Let my introduce my self.I am 21 years old,i live in greece,i am Lefteris and i am having a tall family and a tall girlfriend i love to death and your comments arent what you will call my favourite. I want you to know that of course i dont have anything againts short people and that a lot of my friends are short.Also,i dont care about me but for my girlfriend and parents/family. I know that you might say that at such a young age i may break up with my girlfriend but even if that happens she will wlays remain a very important person for me for many reasons and i want the best for her. Are you a doctor??
Can i have health advantages? I am 6''4'' and i weight 86 kg. My gfriend is 5'11'' amd weights 69 kg.I work out,she doesnt,we dont smoke and we dont eat a lot of meet.We both have good but no f

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