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August 25, 2010

Having Allergies Reduce Risk of Cancer!

Well maybe... According to a May 2010 study where questionnaire-based interviews were performed and encompassed self-reported history of prior medical diagnosis of asthma and eczema, medication use, and several covariates among 3,300 cancer cases and 512 population controls, a history of asthma was negatively associated with all cancer types combined (OR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.5-1.1) and similarly for a history of eczema (OR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.4-1.1).

Why would this happen? Well, allergies is due to a hyperreactive immune system that may lead to a more efficient elimination of abnormal cells, thus lowering cancer risks.

More study is needed to verify if this correlation truly exists.

What I would like to see is 3 groups (allergic group treated with meds only, allergic group on immunotherapy, and control group) followed out.

Reference:
History of asthma or eczema and cancer risk among men: a population-based case-control study in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2010 May;104(5):378-84.
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

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