Height May Correlate to Risk of Cancer

While there are many advantages to being tall, such as dominating basketball games, a supermodel career and being able to reach the cookies on the top shelf, oddly you may also run the risk for developing certain types of cancers.  A new study reveals that a person’s risk of ovarian, breast, bowel and prostate cancer increases with height.  For approximately every 10 cm increase in height you are from the average height for your gender and weight, your chance for cancer is increased.  It should be noted that apart from smoking, other lifestyle factors do not affect the relation between height and cancer; as this phenomenon happens across the globe, spanning Europe, Australia, North America and Asia.

While you can’t change your height, you can cut down your risk for cancer by making a couple lifestyle changes.

  • Cut back on red meat:  While it’s a great source of protein there are a lot of cancer-causing culprits found in your average steak. The first type is iron found in red meat, called “heme” iron; Second, nitrates and nitrites, which are preservatives found in processed meat that contribute the pink color to hot dogs, cold cuts, bacon and related foods are another danger. Finally, there are HCAs (heterocyclic amines), which are carcinogenic compounds that develop when meat is cooked at high temperatures.  Cutting back on the amount of red meat and processed meat in your diet is advisable based on the latest research.  If you’re not ready to eliminate meat altogether, try switching to turkey burgers as there is no link between white meat consumption and an elevated cancer risk.
  • Take more vitamin D: Research shows that people with the highest blood levels of vitamin D had a reduced risk of developing colorectal cancer compared to people with the lowest blood levels of vitamin D.  Vitamin D can be obtained through sun exposure: 15 minutes per day for a few days a week in the summer is sufficient for most people, though darker skinned people may require more. Good dietary sources include cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna and fortified milk.
  • Take your fish oil:  Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA (found in fish oil) are unsaturated fatty acids known for their anti-inflammatory properties. They have previously been found to be beneficial for several bodily functions, such as controlling blood clotting and building cell membranes in the brain. The proposed effect of fish oil on breast cancer prevention is thought to come from its anti-inflammatory properties, as chronic inflammation has previously been linked to the spread of cancer.

Remember the best prevention for cancer is routine checkups at the doctor’s office; your doctor will be able to ascertain the best lifestyle routine for you based on your health and family history of cancer.

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