People who suffer from certain skin allergies are more likely to develop blood-related cancers when they get older. Research shows people who experience hives are more likely to develop leukemia. Those who have eczema in childhood are about two-times more likely to develop non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Based on findings of the study researchers believe the skin allergies might lead to cancer because they stimulate the immune system to increase the number of white blood cells, which in turn might foster cancer-causing mutations within the white blood cell population.
Though past research shows that allergic diseases might actually protect against cancer because they stimulate the immune system to work harder. Researchers say their findings do not support the 'immune surveillance' hypothesis," which says that allergic conditions protect against malignancies by enhancing the ability of the immune system to detect and eliminate malignant cells.
Researchers say they found no link between later cancers and other allergic conditions, such as hay fever. However, since results did trend toward a higher leukemia risk among those with asthma. Thus researchers urge people to consider these findings in relation to the overall risk for blood cancers, which is low.