People with type O blood are less likely to develop cancer of the pancreas than are people with type B blood, a study finds. People with type A or AB blood face a risk that falls somewhere in between, researchers report in the March 18 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Research suggesting that blood type might influence cancer risk first emerged in the 1950s, and the idea has puzzled scientists ever since.
Because testing blood type was relatively easy to do even then, scientists did it, says study coauthor Brian Wolpin, an oncologist and epidemiologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston. But reports over the past half-century have offered a mixed bag — some suggest blood type matters in cancer and others indicate it doesn’t.
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