We must always be careful about what we eat if we want to live a healthy life, and what apparently looks like harmless nourishment can lead to awful repercussions. According to new research led by Anna Coghill (department of cancer epidemiology from the Research Institute in Florida and the H. Lee Moffit Cancer Center) and James Hodge (department of population science at the American Cancer Society), a common parasite found in contaminated water and undercooked meat could be associated with a rare type of brain cancer.
The terrible news is brought by BBC, and the parasite in question is called Toxoplasma gondii, or T. gondii. Developing rare and highly fatal gliomas is the expected outcome. Gliomas make up the majority of malignant brain tumors.
757 individuals studied
In order to come to the scary conclusion, the researchers had to analyze a total of 757 individuals – 111 of them were from the American Cancer Prevention Study-II Nutrition Cohort, and the rest were listed in the Norwegian Cancer Registry. For both groups, the researchers had noticed a suggestive positive association between seropositivity for the T.gondii antibodies and glioma risk.
However, there’s no use panicking just yet, as James Hodge declared:
This does not mean that T. gondii definitely causes glioma in all situations. Some people with glioma have no T. gondii antibodies, and vice versa.
Anna Coghill releases other important statements:
The findings do suggest that individuals with higher exposure to the T. gondii parasite are more likely to go on to develop glioma,
However, it should be noted that the absolute risk of being diagnosed with a glioma remains low, and these findings need to be replicated in a larger and more diverse group of individuals.
The new findings were reported in the International Journal of Cancer.