Heritable genetic variants in key cancer genes link cancer risk with anthropometric traits

Physical measures, like height and weight, are known to associate with cancer risk. However, the reasons for these associations are not well understood.  Here we explore if differences in our genetic code might contribute to these associations.  We study the genomes of 500,000 people living in the United Kingdom and show that differences in the genetic code that increase cancer risk also associate with physical measures. Notably, we find that a genetic code change found in over 1% of the population increases the risk of developing skin and brain cancers, but also the likelihood of being taller and leaner. (By Dr. Francesca M. Buffa, https://jmg.bmj.com/content/early/2020/06/26/jmedgenet-2019-106799 )

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