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Believe it or not, some Allergies may lead to Blood Cancer

Harold Mandel's picture
Allergies are annoying

Here's why it is important to find allergy relief that can compromise the immune system and possibly lead to blood cancers.


It has been unclear why there may be an association between allergies and blood cancer in women and not men. Allergy sufferers are generally miserable during an allergic attack. The medications on the market to help deal with allergies often make people feel run down and tired. Efforts are often made to identify and avoid allergens and to find natural remedies to help prevent allergies. New research which points to a possible link between allergies and blood cancer in women highlights the urgent need to investigate the cause of allergies and manners in which allergies can be prevented much more aggressively.

A moderately increased risk of hematologic malignancies has been found in women with a history of allergies to airborne allergens, particularly to plant, grass, or trees, as reported upon in the American Journal of Hematology. Up to this time there were inconsistent results dealing with immune irregularities found in association with allergies which could affect cancer cell biology. Research has indicated for unclear reasons the association between hematologic malignancies and allergies is specific for women.

Scientists studying the association of the immune system and cancer discovered this increased risk of blood cancer in women suffering from allergies, as written about in a review of this research in Biocience Technology. The lack of the same association in men has suggested a possible gender-specific role in chronic stimulation of the immune system which may be associated with the development of hematologic cancers. Mazyar Shadman, a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has said, “To the best of our knowledge, ours is the first study to suggest important gender differences in the association between allergies and hematologic malignancies.”

Shadman, who led this research, has shared that the potential role of the immune system in cancer causation has been a focus of very keen scientific interest. He has stated that when your immune system is either over-reactive or under-reactive, you may have serious problems. Research has indicated that irregularities of the immune system, as is seen in allergic and autoimmune disorders, can affect the survival of cells in developing tumors.

The finding that the incidence of blood cancers in response to various allergens was increased in women but not in men has been perplexing. One consideration to explain this is that the additional effect of allergy in women could be because of their lower baseline risk for the development of hematologic malignancies in comparison to men. An alternative biological explanation would be variations in hormonal effects on the immune system and interactions with carcinogenesis.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology allergies are among the most common chronic conditions which are seen worldwide. The range of problems from allergies goes from making you miserable to placing you at an increased risk for life-threatening reactions. Leading experts have said that allergy, which is an allergic reaction, begins in the immune system. A healthy immune system helps to protect us from invading organisms which can cause illness.

If you suffer from an allergy, your immune system mistakes an otherwise harmless substance, or allergen, as being an invader. An overreaction to the allergen by the immune system results in the production of Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. An allergic reaction is seen when these antibodies travel to cells which release histamine and other chemicals.

We typically see a widespread response to an allergic reaction, with symptoms in the following locations:

1: Nose

2: Lungs

3: Throat

4: Sinuses

5: Ears

6: Lining of the stomach

7: Skin

Allergies trigger symptoms of asthma in some people and this can be life threatening. The most serious cases of allergic responses may result in a life-threatening reaction which is called anaphylaxis.

Various allergens are responsible for allergic reactions. The most common allergens include:

1: Pollen

2: Dust

3: Food

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4: Insect stings

5: Animal dander

6: Mold

7: Medications

8: Latex

Most blood cancers begin in your bone marrow where blood is produced, as written by the American Society of Hematology. The production and function of your blood cells is effected by blood cancers. In the majority of cases of blood cancers we see the normal blood cell development process being interrupted by uncontrolled growth of an abnormal type of blood cell. These abnormal blood cells are called cancerous cells, and they may prevent your blood from doing many of its normal functions, such as fighting off infections or preventing very serious bleeding.

Leukemia is a type of cancer which is found in your blood and bone marrow. This type of blood cancer is caused by the rapid production of abnormal white blood cells. The increased number of abnormal white blood cells can not fight infection properly. Furthermore, the ability of the bone marrow to produce red blood cells and platelets is impaired. EmaxHealth reporter Deborah Mitchell has discussed the development of a leukemia vaccine in Britain.

In lymphoma the lymphatic system is effected. In this type of blood cancer abnormal lymphocytes become lymphoma cells. These lymphoma cells multiply and build up in your lymph nodes and other tissues. Your immune system is eventually impaired by these cancerous cells.

With myeloma your plasma cells are specifically targeted. Disease and infection fighting antibodies are produced in your body from plasma cells, which are white blood cells. With this type of blood cancer myeloma cells prevent the normal production of antibodies. Your body’s immune system therefore becomes weakened and susceptible to infection.

I have witnessed the intense suffering of allergy sufferers. Natural interventions such as dietary changes are often appreciated as a good way to help prevent allergies. Naturopathic physicians recommends the following foods which have anti-allergic properties:

1: Whole grains

2: Dark leafy vegetables

3: Egg yolks

4: Cold-pressed flax oil

5: Evening Primrose oil

6: Oily fish such as cod, herring, mackerel, salmon, menhaden and sardines

7: Spirulina

8: Pineapple

9: Papaya

10: Turmeric

I have discussed natural interventions for allergies in more depth in a separate article for EmaxHealth.

I recommend consulting with a naturopath or allergist if you suffer from allergies and trying these dietary suggestions. In view of the finding of an associated link between allergies and blood cancers, I also recommend that patients, physicians and researchers take the issue of allergies more seriously than ever. There is now a more powerful reason than ever to determine manners to beat allergies.