Study: Peanut Allergy Sufferers Less Likely to Develop Brain Cancer

There could be an upside to people suffering from peanut allergies, hay fever, and pet allergies -- they are less likely to develop brain cancer.

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago found that patients with a history of allergies were less likely to be diagnosed with glioma, a common form of brain cancer.

Of the 344 patients with glioma involved in the survey of 1,000 hospital patients, only about 35 percent had been diagnosed with an allergy in their lifetime. Of the cancer-free respondents in the survey, nearly half had been diagnosed with allergies.

Other studies have shown allergy sufferers appear to have lower rates of pancreatic and colorectal cancer.

It's not clear exactly what the correlation is between allergies and fighting cancers.

However, scientists say an overactive immune system, which is what causes allergies in the first place, could be the reason.

When foreign cells, such as cancer cells, develop in the body, the immune system jumps into action. Since allergy sufferers have the overactive immune system, researchers suspect they are able to mount a better defense to the cancer cells.

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