A recent study out of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston concluded that people who have allergic conditions such as asthma, eczema, hay fever, and other allergies are up to 40 percent less likely to develop a certain type of brain cancer. That's great news, isn't it?
The type of cancer in question is something called a glioma, that affects the glial cells in the brain. The researchers looked at studies conducted between 1979 and 2007 to see if there might be any kind of link between allergic diseases and either glioma or another form of brain cancer called meningioma.
They found that people who had nasal allergies had a 40 percent lower risk of glioma, while those who had eczema and asthma had a 30 percent lower risk of glioma. No association was seen with meningioma for any type of allergies.
There is no specific known mechanism that allows allergies to prevent brain cancer, but scientists theorize that allergis might offer a protective effect against cancer because of immune system changes.
Obviously, more evidence will be needed, but I for one will rest a wee bit easier knowing that though I may sneeze, wheeze, and cough a lot, not to mention have itchy skin and red, irritated eyes, at least I probably won't be getting a glioma any time soon!
Published On: October 16, 2007