Whatever next? Never heard this one before:
The association between height and cancer has been observed for a long time, with taller people in general being at greater risk of developing the disease. A new study has looked into this link across a massive sample size of more than 5 million adults. Not only were they able to show that the association held over such large numbers, but they also calculated the increased risk for every extra 10 centimeters (4 inches) of height, claim the researchers.
They found that the risk of developing cancer in women increased by 18% for every extra 10 centimeters, while for men the risk rose by 11%…
Other studies have shown how people who have genetic dwarfism also have lower rates of cancer compared to the general population. The genetic mutation that makes them shorter is in the part of their DNA that codes for growth hormone receptors on their cells, meaning the cells don’t respond to the hormone in the body. Another piece of research has shown that mice genetically engineered to produce more or less growth hormone also have correspondingly higher and lower rates of cancer in correspondence with their with body size.
People are quite a lot taller than they were a century ago. Maybe the increase in cancer over the past century is entirely due to people getting taller?
We’ve already got Tobacco Control. And in Obesity Control we in effect have Width Control. So perhaps they’ll add Height Control next. Parents will be encouraged to feed their children as little as possible, or keep them in straitjackets to restrict their growth. Something like that. It will entail restrictions and bans. It always does.
One day they will find that everything causes cancer. Maybe they already have:
Everything gives you cancer
My first mistake came shortly after waking up. Toothpaste, I have since discovered, contains several compounds (fluorides and sodium lauryl sulphate among them) that are at least suspected carcinogens, as do shaving cream, soap and shampoo. Breakfast, as well as being the most important meal of the day, is also a cocktail of cancer-causing substances. Heterocyclicamines – highly mutagenic, possibly carcinogenic – are created by cooking or burning foods, and are commonly found in coffee and toast.
Aflatoxins, produced by naturally occurring fungi, are found in small concentrations in milk and cereal. Aflatoxin B1, the most deadly of all the aflatoxins, has been shown to cause cancer in mice, rats, hamsters, rainbow trout, ducks, marmosets (this is a partial list, by the way), tree shrews, guinea pigs and monkeys. Luckily, breakfast is not the most important meal of the day to me, so I’m happy to skip it.
It quickly becomes clear that total carcinogenic abstention is more difficult than it sounds. When that noted oncologist Joe Jackson first proclaimed that “Everything/Gives you cancer”, I think most people understood him to be speaking about all the good things in life -smoking and drinking and red meat and DDT-based pesticides. But a quick look at even a partial list of known human carcinogens proves that he may as well have been speaking literally.