Why being tall may increase your cancer risk

cc tallpeople x
Image credit: Ekely/IStockphoto

Taller people have a greater risk of cancer because they are bigger and so have more cells in their bodies in which dangerous mutations can occur, new research has suggested.

Scientists have put forward a number of different explanations for this, including that certain growth hormones could play a role in both height and cancer, or that environmental factors such as childhood nutrition or illness could be a factor.

“One of the major hypotheses was that something was happening early in life that was making your cells more susceptible to cancer and, sort of incidentally, causing you to be tall,” said Leonard Nunney, professor of biology at the University of California Riverside.

But now Nunney says he has crunched the numbers to show it might be down to a simpler matter of size: tall people simply have more cells for something to go wrong in.

Related article:  EPA reaffirms glyphosate herbicide poses no human health risk, says additional review slated for fall 2020

Georgina Hill, from Cancer Research UK, said individuals should not be concerned about their stature. “A number of studies over the years have shown that taller people seem to have a slightly higher risk of cancer,” she said. “But the increased risk is small and there’s plenty you can do to reduce the risk of developing cancer, such as not smoking and keeping a healthy weight.”

Read full, original post: Tall people at greater risk of cancer ‘because they have more cells’

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend