Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in women, with less than one-third of diagnosed cases detected before the cancerous tumor begins to grow outside the ovaries. Studies are showing that specific body size increases a woman's risks.
With age and oral contraceptives having the biggest impact on risks for ovarian cancer, advanced scientific studies find that tall and obese woman are at a much higher risk. For every two inches of height, the chance of getting ovarian cancer increases, but 47 epidemiological studies have shown conflicting evidence in 14 countries. The research involved about 25,000 female subjects who had ovarian cancer, while over 80,000 did not. The study also showed a relationship between women who are obese and have never had hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Lead researcher Prof Valerie Beral of the Oxford University Epidemiology Unit told the BBC, “By bringing together the worldwide evidence, it became clear that height is a risk factor. Ovarian cancer can clearly be added to the list [of cancers linked to obesity].
A pathological specimen of ovarian carcinoma.
According to Sara Williams, a health information officer at the UK Cancer Research, the study is considered an important one as it produced a much clearer picture of the factors involving women's bodies in regard to ovarian cancer in women. For women trying to lose weight, the best method is to eat healthily, eat smaller amounts and be more physically active,” she said in News-Medical.
In the BBC article, Dr. Paul Pharoah from the cancer epidemiology department at the University of Cambridge, said that when two women are compared---one five-feet tall and one five-feet-six-inches tall---the relative ovarian cancer risk is 23 percent. The shorter woman has a lifetime risk of approximately 16-in-a-1000 while it is 20-in-a-1000 for the taller woman.
A large body of research linking height and weight with the risk of several different cancers has been inconsistent. The only way a link could be found is by comparing international studies.