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NYCAllergyDoctor asks Allergies Provide Protection from Brain Cancer?

MSNBC reporter Nastasha Allen informs us of a study in which patients with history of allergies experienced less brain and nervous system cancers. It is important to note that the study included only 1031 patients, 419 with glioma (most common form of brain cancer) and 612 healthy people.

While the results are consistent with previous findings that suggested a link between allergies and gliomas, this study was one of a few that examined factors such as the number and types of allergies including seasonal, pet and food, the researchers said.

“It doesn’t matter what type of allergy you have, they are all seem to be protective,” said study researcher Bridget McCarthy, a research associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

What do you think? Overactive immune systems that cause allergies may protect against certain cancers?

Missing in the study results is cause and effect distinct in showing allergies directly lower the risk of brain tumor. The observational findings result in a possible connection, that leaves Dr. Eugene S. Flamm, chairman of the department of neurosurgery at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, skeptical.

“As the authors point out, there are several conflicting reports in the literature, and this paper does not resolve the issue in any way,” Flamm said.

From… “One reason for the conflicting reports, the authors said, was that ‘allergy’ was defined differently in various studies — sometimes broadly and sometimes narrowly, as in seasonal allergies alone. Further studies are essential, they said.”

Interesting beginning.