The researchers said that there was a 16% increase in the risk of cancer for every four inches (10cm) above five feet a person’s height was.
The study of more than one million women suggested chemicals that control growth might also affect tumors.
Cancer Research UK said tall people should not be alarmed by the findings.
The study followed 1.3 million middle-aged women in the UK between 1996 and 2001.
10 cancers where the risk increases with height are colon, rectal, malignant melanoma, breast, endometrial (uterus), ovarian, kidney, lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia.
Those in the tallest group, over 5ft 9in, were 37% more likely to have developed a tumor than those in the shortest group, under 5ft.
Although the study looked only at women, the researchers said the height link was also present in men.
They combined ten other research studies which showed a similar link in men.
Higher levels of growth factors could do two things. They could result in more cells – taller people are made of more stuff so there are more cells which could mutate and become tumors. Alternatively, they could increase the rate of cell division and turnover, increasing the risk of cancer.
The researchers suggested that height could also have contributed to increasing cancer incidence. In Europe, average height is thought to have increased by around 1cm every decade during the 20th Century.
They argued that the height increase in that time could have resulted in a 10-15% more cancers than if heights had remained the same