Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Women's Health

Font Size

Taller Women May Face Higher Cancer Odds After Menopause, Study Suggests

But the research only uncovered an association between height and malignancy risk, not cause-and-effect


Specifically, with each additional 10 centimeters (about 4 inches) of height, the odds of developing melanoma, breast, ovary, endometrium or colon cancer rose 13 percent, to 17 percent. And the risk of kidney, rectum, thyroid or blood cancers grew 23 percent, to 29 percent, the study authors said.

How the height-risk observation might play out in terms of improving cancer screening and intervention remains to be seen, Rohan said.

"It's probably not an effective screening mechanism. My gut is that it is just too broad a factor to be useful," he said. "And clearly we're not talking about a modifiable factor. Obviously we're not recommending that women do what they can to reduce their height. But with more work this may ultimately tell us something about the biology of cancer, and how genetics plays a role in raising cancer risk among some women and men."

Rebecca Siegel, an epidemiologist and director of surveillance information at the American Cancer Society, said the findings open multiple avenues for further consideration.

"One possible explanation for these findings is that early developmental exposures that influence adult height may also contribute to cancer risk," she said. "In which case height would be a marker for cancer risk and not a causal factor." Childhood nutrition, for instance, influences adult height.

It's possible that taller people simply have a larger number of cells, Siegel added. "While the underlying reasons for this association are not well understood, this information may be an important piece of the cancer puzzle that could contribute to the further understanding of how and why cancer develops," she said.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
Is it menopause or something else?
woman in bathtub
bp app on smartwatch and phone
estrogen gene

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
hot water bottle on stomach
Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror