This is a great question, and there has been some discussion about this on the forum. Can having this cholinergic urticaria (or any chronic hives, allergies, or eczema for that matter) shorten our life span or put us at an increased risk for cancer?
Can Chronic Cholinergic Urticaria, Hives, Allergies, or Eczema Cause Cancer?
According to one article I read, allergies can in some cases actually help prevent cancer. In cases of people with allergies, the body’s immune system is seeing a (usually normal) item and labeling it as an invader that needs to be killed. So the body then released chemicals to alert the immune system to fight this offending allergen.
Since the immune system is being notified of potential invaders often, it is more likely to detect a faulty cell that may start replicating and forming cancer cells. So in a way, having allergies could an anti-cancer effect. So if cholinergic urticaria is involved with an allergic response, and the immune system is involved, then it could actually be benefitting us in terms of cancer protection.
On the flip side, excessive inflammation that could be potentially caused by constant allergies could actually lead to cancer according to one article. In allergic responses, a large amount of inflammatory chemicals are released from the body. The inflammation can be seen in the form of eczema, rashes on the skin, or internal inflammation which is harder to detect. Chronic Inflammation is thought to be one of several major causes of cancer. And also there was that one report that someone had both cholinergic urticaria and leukemia.
So What About Cholinergic Urticaria? Cancer or No Cancer?
First, as I am sure you are all aware, we eventually have to die of SOMETHING. Whether it be cancer, heart attack, stroke, or freak accident. So do we have an increased risk of developing cancer? Let me remind everyone of a few main points:
- We probably (hopefully) won’t have this condition forever. Many authoritative medical articles and studies indicate that the condition can last for different lengths of time for different individuals. However, 7.5 years is average. Some people can have it for up to 30 years. Many people on this website have commented about a parent or other family member that had the condition around our age, but it cleared up over the years (gives me some hope). So if we only have this for a few years, I would think that it wouldn’t have any major effect on cancer.
- If this condition can be maintained for up to 30 years in some people, it doesn’t strike me as a life threatening condition. If it is, then it certainly doesn’t work as fast as other diseases that are possible to get.
- Many of the people that have parents that also had this condition, have older parents (i.e. they are still alive). So they are in older age, yet didn’t develop any cancers or die at a young age. So that is always great news for us, huh?
- Some of the studies I read about, the patient was given thorough examinations and tests. There was no indication of abnormalities (cancer) in the blood counts, scans, or any other tests.
So Can or Will Cholinergic Urticaria Shorten Life Span?
Maybe, maybe not. I suppose it would depend on several factors (such as how long we have it, what is actually causing it in the first place, and how many reactions we have, our diets and lifestyles, etc.). But the good news as I mentioned above is that it doesn’t seem to be anything noticeable.
Perhaps this is just our “condition” that we will have to go through and live with (at least until it goes into remission some day…hopefully).
It is unclear if there is any signficant decrease in life span or increase in cancer risks from having cholinergic urticaria (or other allergic type conditions). However, most research, articles, and evidence never report any sudden life loss, and many people live for years and perhaps even full life spans even after suffering through this condition.
It makes me feel better to know that! I would definitely like to live to see my hair turn gray, and my itching stop!