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According to a major study that provides a connection between height and cancer, it is stated that taller people are more prone to developing cancer. Research has found that the risk of developing any kind of cancer in women rises by 18% for an increase of every 10 cm in height. In men, the risk rises by 11%, even though height is not as major a factor as are obesity, smoking and a bad, unhealthy diet.
Several reasons have been put forward for the above statement. One of the reasons is that the number of body cells in taller people is more than people with average height. This leads to an increase in the number of cells which could potentially turn malignant.
While individually analysing the impact of height on different cancer forms, it was found that the highest increase in risk was in skin cancer (30% for every 10 cm increase in height), while a 20% increase was noted in taller women developing breast cancer.
Development of cancer in regions including the colon and rectum is known as colorectal cancer. Long legs have been surprisingly associated with this form of cancer. In comparison with shorter people, it was reported that taller people had a higher risk percentage of developing colorectal cancer. Two hypotheses regarding the formation of colorectal cancer have been developed. One hypothesis is that taller people have longer colons, which in turn result in more surface area where colon cancer can develop. The other hypothesis is that taller people experience increased levels of growth hormones. These particularly affect the length of their legs. The growth hormone called 'insulin-like growth factor 1' is increased during puberty and is considered to be a risk factor for colorectal cancers occurring at later stages.