Having Allergies Protects Against Cancer

The pollen that irks you could also be saving you
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2010 4:42 AM CDT
Having Allergies Protects Against Cancer
Cancer protection is good news for the millions of Americans suffering from allergies and hay fever.   (Shutter Stock)

If pollen leaves you cursing your runny nose and itchy eyes each year, take solace in this upside: Allergy, asthma, and hay fever sufferers have significantly lower risks of developing many cancers. New studies show that asthmatics are 30% less likely to get ovarian cancer, while kids with airborne allergies are 40% less likely to get leukemia. That may be because people sensitive to allergens have advanced immune systems, and expel cancer-causing toxins when they sneeze out irritants, say experts.

"More work is still needed, but the numbers show allergy is a statistically significant protective factor," an epidemiologist told the New York Post. Other recent research has linked allergies to lower risks of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, pancreatic cancer, and stomach cancer. Unfortunately, scientists can't "give" allergies to those who do not suffer from them.
(Read more allergy stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.