New research shows that taller women have a higher risk of ovarian cancer.
Oxford academics looked at 47 epidemiological studies in 14 countries, which included more than 25,000 women with ovarian cancer and 80,000 healthy controls.
According to the study, published in the journal PLoS Medicine, every five centimetre increase in height translates to a seven per cent rise in the chance of developing the disease.
The study also established a link between heavier body weight and ovarian cancer risk in women who have never used HRT.
Researchers say these are important findings because the average height of women is increasing by 1cm per decade. The average weight of British people is also on the rise- UK women are apparently the heaviest in Europe.
But commenting on the study, Dr Paul Pharoah, reader in cancer epidemiology at the University of Cambridge, said the increase in risk was small.
"If we compare a woman who is 5ft tall with a woman who is 5ft 6in tall, there is a relative difference in ovarian cancer risk of 23%."
"But the absolute risk difference is small. The shorter woman will have a lifetime risk of about 16-in-a-1000 which increases to 20-in-a-1000 for the taller woman.
"A similar difference in absolute risk would be seen when comparing a slim woman with a body mass index of 20 to a slightly overweight woman with a body mass index of 30."
Cancer of the ovary is the fifth most common cancer among women, and can affect women of any age. As the symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague- pain in the pelvis, persistent bloating and difficulty eating- it has traditionally been known as the ‘silent killer’.
Advanced ovarian cancer may not be treatable, but early detection of ovarian cancer offers a 90% cure rate.
Private medical insurance offers cover for ovarian cancer from diagnosis through to recovery. If you carefully compare health insurance policies you will be able to choose the best treatment the UK has to offer, and gain peace of mind about your future health.
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