Domestic and Farm-Animal Exposures and Risk of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Some pretty surprising results in this study. I’ve always considered the lymphomas and leukemias some of the harder cancers to strongly prevent (as opposed to solid tumors like breast, colon, prostate, pancreatic), but this study finds some very strong protective effects of dog and cat ownership (up to 42% reduced risk). As an owner of 4 dogs, I have my opinions on this one.
This protective effect may be from immune system modulation that we know occurs with pet exposure (the hygiene hypothesis) or it may be purely stress reduction from close animal contact. Either way, this review strongly supports the concept of dog and cat ownership as a protection against lymphoma.