A new research has found that taller people have a greater risk of developing cancer because they are bigger in size and have more cells which can get a risky mutation.
On the other hand, hormone levels, other illnesses and how affluent or deprived people are when they are young can also have an impact on height and cancer risk as well. Consider this quote from lead researcher Leonard Nunney of the University of California Riverside: "If you were comparing a 5-foot guy to a basketball player who's over 7 feet tall, then that basketball player has around twice the risk of cancer across the board", he tells Australia's ABC. They have more cells, and thus more things go can wrong in those cells, explains the Guardian.
For every 10cm increase in human height above the average used in the study of 5ft 7in for men and 5ft 3in for women, there is a 10 per cent greater risk of that person getting cancer, the BBC reported, adding that a person's risk factor depended on their exact height.
"We've known that there is a link between cancer risk and height for quite a long time - the taller someone is, the higher the cancer risk", Georgina Hill from Cancer Research UK told CNN. For men, it was for cancers of the thyroid, skin, lymphoma, colon, kidney, biliary tract and central nervous system. The results showed that there was a 13 percent rise in risk of cancers for women associated with each 10 cm increase in height.
One kind of cancer that did not show any risk related with height was cervical cancers which has been linked with HPV diseases.
The biological and plausible reasons behind this association could be the role of growth hormones that allow for increased height as well as contribute to increase risk of cancer. She notes, "The methodology is good-they took data from larger studies, which is important, and they looked at lots of different categories of cancer".
It is noted that yesterday it was announced that colorectal cancer incidence increased at an average annual rate of 6% between 2008-2016 among those aged 20-39 in Europe.
Average height varies among regions but in the United States, men are on average 176cm (five feet nine inches) tall, and women 162cm (five feet four inches).
Each of the study chosen had to include 10,000 cancer cases for each sex.
But she noted that the increase in risk of developing cancer is small compared to the effects that lifestyle changes can have.