Thomas Ramey Watson

Toxoplasmosis & Brain Cancer: Cats Don’t Give Disease To Owners After All, Study Shows

Cat owners are no more likely than people without pets to have brain cancer, a new study finds.

If you’re wondering whether you should be relieved as a cat owner or confused as to what Fluffy the Persian has to do with brain cancer at all, we’re here to help. The story starts last year, when researchers released a study in the journal Biology Letters finding that infection with a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii may be linked to brain cancer in humans.
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“This is an important finding because the popular press is drawn to the headline that pet cats are a health risk to their owners,” Thomas and his colleagues wrote. Nevertheless, they said, the finding does not disprove a link between the parasite and brain tumors. Cat ownership does not strongly increase the risk of T. gondii infection, the researchers wrote. In fact, eating unwashed vegetables and undercooked meat is a much stronger risk factor.

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