Tapeworm Transmits Cancer Cells to Man - NBC4 Washington

Tapeworm Transmits Cancer Cells to Man

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    Tapeworm Transmits Cancer Cells to Man
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    Cancer Cells. File Photo.

    Tapeworms get inside people, lay their eggs, and cause symptoms such as diarrhea and weakness. And they can infest a body for a lifetime.

    But doctors were stunned to find out they can do something worse: infect people with tumors.

    "We were amazed when we found this new type of disease — tapeworms growing inside a person essentially getting cancer that spreads to the person, causing tumors," said Dr. Atis Muehlenbachs, a pathologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    As many as 75 million people globally carry the parasite.