Doctors don’t seem to know a whole lot about cholinergic urticaria. However, it always pays to go to a good doctor to have a full round of tests run to rule out other possible diseases or problems that could be causing the chronic hives symptoms. This post will talk about one case that was actually linked (possibly) with cancer, or at least occurred concurrently with the disease.
I recently stumbled upon an article on the web that made me a little nervous. Now before I talk about it, I just want to point out that this seemed to be a rare occurrence, and most people with CU do not seem to have any known underlying issues, and as I will point out at the end, the prognosis wasn’t very bad. But again, it doesn’t hurt to have a good check up and as many tests run as possible.
Is Leukemia Associated with Cholinergic Urticaria?
I came across an article excerpt here that showed a patient with chronic urticaria (suspected cholinergic urticaria) that had the condition for about 3 years. After extensive testing, they did find that this person had a form of cancer called Hairy-cell Leukemia. The article goes on to indicate that they received a type of chemotherapy as treatment, and the cholinergic urticaria went away after this treatment.
I found that article both scary and interesting. It reminds us that we should always get a full check up, because you never know what could be going on. Of course, it could have been a coincidence, and the cancer may not have been connected with the cholinergic urticaria. Maybe the person just had Cu, and by chance they also had hairy cell leukemia. After all, if a person on Cholinergic Urticaria did receive chemo, I am guessing that the Cu symptoms would probably go away. Chemo messes with the immune system, and so do steroids and we know those tend to be used as treatment in some cases.
Remember, most medical research says that chronic hives are very rarely caused by an underlying disease or cancer. So this isn’t a frequent occurance for those of you that may be thinking, “oh no” right now.
Also, let me point out that Hairy-Cell Leukemia (according to Wikipedia and the Mayo Clinic Site), is the kind of cancer people want to get. When I say that, I mean it is the type of cancer that probably won’t kill you. In fact, many times they don’t even treat it! That is always a good thing to know.
But I thought that was both interesting, and scary! Hopefully none of us have any type of underlying issues causing CU. It is impossible to know. For all we know, we could have an underlying disease, parasite, cancer, genetic disorder, or God only knows that causes this. It could be different for each of us.
But at least most cases of cholinergic urticaria are not terminal, and many people seem to live a normal life span. I know I have had this thing for almost 7 years on and off myself, and some members of the forum for almost as long as 30 years!