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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Does Allergy Reduce The Risk Of Cancer?

I have started to read more on the science behind severe food allergies. That research led me to a Wikipedia page on IgE where I came across the following statement: "although it is not yet well understood, IgE may play an important role in the immune system’s recognition of cancer".

Obviously I was intrigued. There are many conflicting studies on whether there is indeed a relationship between IgE, allergy and cancer. One of the best summaries of the science was found in a 2005 edition of the journal Allergy. The authors conclude that the "the epidemiological knowledge about the relationships between allergy and cancer is still incomplete and does not point to a clear-cut direction." This is not surprising given that there is a significant need for more research on food allergy overall, let alone in such a specific area.

That being said, the authors noted that a comprehensive review of the exiting studies led them to a "general conclusion ... that despite the mixed results ... allergy is associated with a reduced risk for cancer". This is not true for all forms of cancer however, indicating that any possible relationship might be site specific.

What an absolutely fascinating area of research! Perhaps immune support against some forms of cancer will prove to be a positive side effect of spending your life dealing with a severe food allergy. It will possibly take decades of research before we have the answer.

1 comment:

Delilah said...

I'm not sure if you've heard of it before, but an illness called might want to look into that. Back when I was reading everything about it under the sun, I read one day about how apparently there was a link to women who have it, and also having these severe allergies. Just something you might want to be aware of, but more importantly..when your daughter is in her teenage years. She can't get the disease now, it happens after you get your period. So you're safe until then at least! I pray she does not get it, it is words can describe the trials, tribulations and intense pain. Anyway..i just found some information in an article about it for you, and it says.."The researchers found that 61 percent of the women with endometriosis reported allergies (as compared to 18 percent of the general female population)"

Here is the link.