World Allergy Week 2024: How to ensure you don’t confuse allergic reaction and malignant lesion | Health - Hindustan Times

World Allergy Week 2024: How to ensure you don’t confuse allergic reaction and malignant lesion

By, Delhi
Jun 24, 2024 01:30 PM IST

World Allergy Week 2024: From lung cancer to laryngeal cancer, here's how we can distinguish the symptoms of cancer from allergic reactions.

World Allergy Week 2024: With time, the rise in allergic disorders is alarming. Host factors and environmental factors contribute to the rise in allergies. Race, genetics, gender and age are crucial host factors that can lead to allergies in people. The environment and the climate conditions are also responsible – environmental allergens found in the surroundings can lead to allergic reactions as well. In both developing and developed nations, allergies are constantly rising and it is important to create awareness about the precautionary measures that can be taken to alleviate the risks. Every year, World Allergy Week is observed to create awareness. From June 23 to June 29, World Allergy Week is observed.

Allergic reactions and malignant lesions can be difficult to differentiate. (Unsplash)
Allergic reactions and malignant lesions can be difficult to differentiate. (Unsplash)

Sometimes, allergic reactions and malignant lesions can be difficult to differentiate. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Tasneem Bharmal - Punyashlok Ahilyabai Holkar, medical oncologist, head and neck cancer Institute of India, said, "In the intricate world of medical diagnostics, distinguishing between benign and serious conditions can be like navigating a labyrinth. Allergic reactions and certain malignancies often present with overlapping symptoms, leading to potential misdiagnoses. Knowing their unique characteristics and understanding when to seek further medical evaluation can make a significant difference in patient outcomes."

ALSO READ: Allergy survival essentials: Check out these tips to help minimise effect of allergens on your well-being

De Tasneem Bharmal further noted down a few ways to distinguish an allergic reaction from a malignant lesion:

Nasopharyngeal cancer:

Nasopharyngeal cancer, located in the upper part of the throat behind the nose, can present symptoms similar to those of allergic rhinitis or sinusitis, such as nasal congestion, a persistent sore throat, and ear pain. However, unlike allergies, these symptoms persist, worsen over time, and may include unilateral issues like a blocked ear or nosebleeds. Neurological symptoms such as double vision and facial numbness are red flags that warrant further investigation.

Laryngeal cancer:

Laryngeal cancer, affecting the voice box, can mimic chronic laryngitis or allergic reactions with hoarseness, a persistent cough, and a sensation of a lump in the throat. Key distinguishing features include hoarseness lasting more than three weeks, persistent throat pain, difficulty swallowing, and unintended weight loss.

Lung cancer:

Lung cancer symptoms can be confused with those of allergic asthma or chronic bronchitis, including a persistent cough, wheezing, and shortness of breath. A non-responsive cough lasting more than eight weeks, coughing up blood, and systemic symptoms like unexplained fatigue and weight loss are critical indicators for further medical evaluation.


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