Rachel Palma was hit by a brain cancer that she allegedly suffered; however, he underwent surgery where the doctors found no malignant tumor, as was suspected, but a larvae of & # 39; tapeworm & # 39 ;, that is, a parasite called cysticercus that can be found in pork or beef.
Before the operation, Palma was in shock about the possibility of suffering from cancer, and also because she was at a very important moment in her life: she was just married.
According to Jonathan Rasouli, head of Neurosurgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, they saw an encapsulated mass that resembled a quail egg after the patient's skull was opened.
"We all said: & # 39; What is this? & # 39;" The surgeon said in a telephone interview with the newspaper The Washington Post.
"It was very shocking. We scratched our head, surprised by how it looked," he said.
They removed the foreign body from Palma & # 39; s brain and examined it with a microscope. They then found that it was a & # 39; tapeworm & # 39; was in larval condition.
The 42-year-old patient said she had mixed feelings, but was relieved that she thought she would no longer need cancer treatments.
The larva gave Palma symptoms such as insomnia, nightmares and hallucinations. In January 2018, the symptoms worsened because he had problems holding objects with his hands; I couldn't send text messages to people; He was confused and stared at the screen of his computer, unable to understand the words.
This woman actually had neurocysticercosis, a parasitic infection in the brain caused by Taenia solium.
Bobbi Pritt, director of the Laboratory of Clinical Parasitology at the Department of Medicine and Pathology of the Mayo Clinic, explained the The Washington Post that it Taenia soliumIt is not common in the United States, but when people become infected, the parasite can occur in two different ways, the most common of which is the adult tapeworm, which is ingested in raw or insufficiently heated pork, and hosts. in the gut.
The other way to contract the parasite occurs when people who are in adult form throw microscopic eggs into their stools and, if they don't wash their hands properly, can pass on tapeworm to other people, he said.
Dr. Pritt explained that the eggs travel to the small intestine, turn into larvae, penetrate the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream, where they can be transported throughout the body, including the brain.
After the operation, Palma & # 39; s health problems ended, she felt 100% relieved, but warns that her case & # 39; something very rare & # 39; was, and therefore she warns other people that she does not attribute pain to herself. go to a problem caused by a parasite.