According to British scientists chronic inflammation may led to cancer. This is a very complex disease with different causes like, exposure to carcinogens like cigarette smoke, pollution, genetic mutation, few infections and inflammation of tissue.
Now Dr Ken O'Byrne of the University of Leicester and Professor Angus Dalgleish of St George's Hospital in London take the inflammation theory much further.They feel that this may be the key cause of cancer. The immune system sets up an inflammatory state to protect us from disease. But if it is activated for too long, it may lose some of its power and the inflammation may then encourage the growth of cancer cells.
Long term exposure to carcinogens or infections might cause this chronic inflammation and this may actually cause the immune system to lose its normal ability to patrol the body. Moreover, it may even end up protecting cancer cells, and creating a blood supply for them, as if they were normal cells. It's a controversial view, requiring much more investigation. But it opens up the possibility of using anti-inflammatory drugs, like aspirin,to cure cancer.
It is also interesting to note that many of the new therapies in development for cancer do rely on 'waking up' the immune system to cancer cells, so that they are destroyed rather than ignored. Hence the relationship between cancer and immunity should be further explored.