An Outlook: Colon Cancer And Allergy

English: Micrograph of a colorectal adenocarci...

Micrograph of a colorectal adenocarcinoma metastasis to a lymph node, also lymph node metastasis. The cancer (forming glands) is seen at the centre-top. Adipose tissue is present on the upper right.

A new research suggests that people who suffer from hay fever and asthma are at lower risk of colon cancer. Before we know more about this research, let us first know about these health conditions.

Colon cancer (or colorectal cancer): It is an uncontrolled growth of cells affecting areas of colon, large intestine, rectum, or in the appendix. Rectal bleeding and thin (thread-like) stools are typical symptoms of colon cancer. Age, certain diseases (such as ulcerative colitis) and genetic causes contribute to it.

Allergy: In some people, there can be an “unusual” sensitivity towards a normally harmless material that induces a strong reaction by the person. Typical allergies are related to certain food or medication, smell and exposure to skin. Atopy is the medical word that describes the state of allergy, where there is a tendency to react to allergens, as in hay fever and asthma. 

Hay fever is an allergic inflammation that occurs in the nasal airways. It is caused by grass pollens or plant pollens (pollinosis). Hay fever is not caused by hay and does not exhibit symptoms of fever. 

Asthma: Asthma is a disease affecting the respiratory system, caused usually by allergies. It has symptoms of coughing, tight feeling in the chest and sudden difficulty in breathing. 

Does hay fever and asthma affect colon cancer ? 

A recent study finds that people who suffer both from hay fever and asthma are at lesser risk of colon cancer. The study reports that people suffering from both, hay fever and asthma, were 17% less likely to acquire colon cancer compared to people who had neither of the two conditions. People having either of the two conditions had little reduction in their risk of colon cancer. The finding is according to data presented at the 11th Annual AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, held in Anaheim, California, October 16-19, 2012.

Hay fever and asthma are diseases that are related to allergic responses of the body, and this new theory says that they also affect the allergic response towards colon cancer cells. More research is ongoing with this new finding, and if a natural immune response can prevent some colorectal cancers, vaccines can be made to treat and prevent them.

This new finding may help us in the development of vaccine for the treatment of colon cancer, and for that it needs to be understood the factors that affects and lowers the risk of colon cancer, e.g. how the immune system is responsive towards cancer cells in such cases. Exercising regularly and a healthy diet might help people to improve their immune system response to prevent cancer.

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One thought on “An Outlook: Colon Cancer And Allergy

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