Women could be increasing their risk of developing cancer by allowing their waistlines to expand.
According to cancer charity the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), 44 per cent of women have a raised waist circumference.
Females appear to be at a greater risk than males, of whom just 32 per cent have a raised waist circumference.
Dr Rachel Thompson, deputy head of science for WCRF, commented: "It is important that we let women know that this is just as relevant for them, particularly as breast and endometrial cancers account for about a third of newly diagnosed cancers in women.
"We need to raise awareness among both men and women that both being overweight and having a large waistline are cancer risk factors."
The charity noted that excess body fat around the waist is a particular risk when it comes to cancer, prompting Dr Thompson to add that people should measure both their body mass index and their waist.
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Cancer treatment news : 31 December 2010