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Home > Understanding Breast Cancer > Risk Factors and Prevention > Uncontrollable Risk Factors > Height



Many studies have that shown taller women have an increased risk of breast cancer [6,66,105-109]. A pooled analysis that combined data from seven prospective studies found women over 5'3" have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer than women under 5'3" [66].

This increase in breast cancer risk may be related to the growth spurt tall women can have in their youth. Growth spurts may be caused by higher levels of hormones (such as IGF-1) or other growth factors. During a growth spurt, these higher hormone levels as well as rapid cell growth may impact breast cancer risk later in life.

Learn more about the hormone IGF-1 and breast cancer risk.

Updated 11/11/13


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