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If You Have This Blood Type, Be Worried About Cancer

What to know about your blood type and cancer. 
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Your blood type can reveal a lot about you like personality traits, but it can also indicate certain health issues you're at greater risk for such a cancer. Specific blood types have been associated with various cancers, however there are lifestyle choices you can make to help lower the risk according to experts. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss Already Had COVID? These Symptoms May "Never Go Away".


Lung Cancer

Patients lying on hospital bed with mask, looking at lung x-ray film during doctor reading result and advice a treatment

Dr. JB Kirby a doctorate-prepared nurse practitioner with 37 years of experience and 10 of experience in Hematology/Oncology tells Eat This, Not That! Health, "There are 4 blood types: A, B, AB, and O. There is a strong link between blood type and lung cancer. In fact, people with blood group A are at greater risk than those with other blood groups. A study in 2013 found that people with Type A and Type B blood have an increased risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer. However, another study in 2015 found that patients with non-small-cell lung cancer and blood type B or blood type O had a better chance of overall survival. 


What Should People Know?

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Dr. Kirby says, "The exact reason why this happens isn't known. It has been suggested that certain antibodies produced by the body may play a role in the development of lung cancer. More studies are needed to figure this out."


What Can You Do If You're at Risk?

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"First, don't panic," Dr. Kirby emphasizes. "Just because you have a certain blood type doesn't mean you're going to get cancer. As the old saying goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" so start with prevention. Eat a healthy diet that includes fresh vegetables and fruits, and exercise daily – even if it's just a walk around the block – some movement is better than none.  Avoid processed foods. Don't smoke; if you do, now is a good time to quit. You should also talk to your healthcare provider about other ways to reduce your risk for cancer." 


Stomach Cancer


Penn Medicine shares, "There are plenty of factors that have been connected with a higher risk of cancer, and it can sometimes be hard to know which ones to look into more seriously than others. However, people with Type A blood have been found to have a higher risk of stomach cancer specifically, compared to those with other blood types." The site added, "While you may not be able to change your blood type, there are ways to lower your risk of cancer:

  • Eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and poultry.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Avoid smoking."


ABO Blood Type and Various Cancers

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Penn Medicine states, "The ABO gene may play a role with a heightened cancer risk, as well. This gene has been connected to other cancers, including lung, breast, colorectal, prostate, liver, and cervical cancers. This correlation has been studied for more than 60 years, and while research continues to show a correlation, there is no definitive explanation as to why the ABO gene may put you at a higher risk for some cancers."


Pancreatic Cancer


The Harvard Gazette reports, "Offering a novel clue about the basic biology of pancreatic cancer, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have confirmed a decades-old discovery of a link between blood type and the risk of developing the disease. The finding, published online by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute on March 10, is based on an analysis of blood type and pancreatic cancer occurrence in participants of two large health-tracking studies, the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. The new study demonstrates that while people's overall risk of pancreatic cancer is relatively low — with nearly 40,000 new cases diagnosed annually in the United States, compared with nearly 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer — people with blood types A, B, or AB were more likely to develop the disease than those with type O." And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather