Tall Women More Prone to Ovarian Cancer, but Don't Panic Yet

measuring tapeHang on just a second, here -- what's all this about tall women having a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer? That hardly seems fair. There's not much a girl can do about her height, after all. (Unless a pair of 3-inch stilettos is involved, but heels wouldn't help in this case.)

It's true: According to the latest research, taller women are more prone to ovarian cancer. Study results found "a slight increase in the risk of developing ovarian cancer for every 5cm increase in height (taking into account other factors such as age, smoking, and alcohol consumption)."

Sheesh, really? I guess a "slight" increase doesn't sound so bad ...

Oh, and by the way, it's just as risky to be overly wide as it is overly long (obesity is a risk factor, too). 

Says Sarah Williams, health information officer at Cancer Research UK, "Women can reduce their risk of this and many other diseases by keeping to a healthy weight. For women trying to lose weight, the best method is to eat healthily, eat smaller amounts and be more physically active."

Of course, whether or not she's obese is something a woman has relative control over -- compared to her height, anyway. So I guess the good news here for women of every size is that most of the contributing factors to ovarian cancer can be avoided: Smoking, drinking, being overweight.

If only aging could be avoided, too.

Do you worry about ovarian cancer?


Image via aussiegall/Flickr

cancer, obesity


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jessi... jessicasmom1

I am tall but I do not worry over such things 

femal... femaleMIKE

No cancer studies make me panic. I refuse to live my life in fear.

slw123 slw123

I'm confused about that 'for every 5 cm increase in height" business.  Increase over what exactly?

tigge... tigger238

I guess I have a really low risk of ovarian cancer at 4'11.


That's what I want to know slw123. Plus a slight increase doesn't sound too bad until you add the for every 5 cm. That means the increase is bigger for someone that is very tall.

runne... runnergirl888

I have a family history of ovarian cancer, so it's something I already think about. I'm guessing its 5cm over the average height for women. At 5'9", that's a little worrying, but so much is supposed to raise your risk of every cancer, that I can't worry about everything.

Lilha... Lilhawksmama

I am 5'9" should I be worried. I run and work out and have had 4 healthy children! What height is considered tall for a woman?

Paula Weigold

I am  breast cancer survivor and I recently took ther braca test to see if I carry the breast cancer gene.  The outcome wa positive.  I have daughters that just turned 17 (twins) and the reason why I did the test is because I am very concerned about them.  My doctor told me that being that I tested positive I needed to have my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed pronto.  I optet to listen to him  because I had a 44% chance of contracting ovarian cancer by the time I reached the age of 70 so I decided it wasn't worth the risk.  My diagnoses was back in 2002.  I am also 5'9" tall and have never been informed that because of my height my ovarian cancer risk was high except for the test results.  I would like a clearer answer as to where these statistics originated from and from whom.  Thanks for any help you can provide me with.

Paula Weigold

sorry for the typos.  

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