Warning over cancer risk among taller men

Walking tall can increase a man's chances of developing testicular cancer, a study suggests.

Findings show that for every extra two inches in height, the risk of being diagnosed is raised by around 13%.

However, since only one man in 210 gets testicular cancer in the UK, the absolute risk is low.

Even men exceeding the average British height of 5ft 9ins are not likely to succumb to the disease.

Dr Michael Blaise Cook, from the National Cancer Institute in Maryland, US, who led the research, said: "The study showed a link between height and testicular cancer but we still do not understand how increased height raises a man's risk of testicular cancer."

Other factors, such as family history and inherited faulty genes, are much more important, accounting for 20% of disease risk, said the scientists.

The chances of developing testicular cancer are also influenced by medical history, ethnicity, undescended testicles, and age.

Fewer than 2,000 new cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK, accounting for just 1% of male cancers.

The findings are published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Sara Hiom, director of health information at the charity Cancer Research UK, which owns the journal, said: "Tall men should not be alarmed by this research since fewer than four in 100 testicular lumps are actually cancerous.

"But it is still important for men to be aware of any changes to the size and weight of their testicles and not delay seeing their GP if they are concerned. This is particularly true for young men as the disease is more common with under-35 year olds.

"The outlook for testicular cancer is also one of the best for all cancers - even after the disease has spread, patients can be cured.

"There is still very little information about what causes testicular cancer; it is a disease that can affect men of any height as shown by jockey Bob Champion who won his battle against testicular cancer by coming back from illness to win the Grand National a year later."

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