The Connection Between Parasites and Cancer

Connection Between

Can parasites directly cause cancer or do they increase the risk of cancer through other mechanisms?

With the rise of cancer cases throughout the world, scientists are continually trying to discover new ways to treat and prevent this dangerous disease. One potential source for understanding the connection between cancer and health lies in the prevalence of parasites. By looking at the relationship between parasites and cancer, it can cast light on our own understanding of wellness and disease.

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What Are Parasites?

Parasites are organisms that live by feeding off the energy and resources of another. Typical parasites are worms, fleas, lice, protozoa, and other such microorganisms that can sometimes have a negative effect on an animal or human’s health. Understanding how these tiny organisms interact with the human body can prove beneficial in the effort to help fight cancer.

Parasites and Cancer: The Connection

Research has established a strong link between certain kinds of cancer and parasites. Certain rare parasites, such as schistosomiasis and Clonorchis sinensis, have been known to cause an increase in cases of bladder, liver, and colorectal cancer. And, a number of other worms have been associated with increased levels of cancer.

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The Benefits of Parasites for Fighting Cancer

Though parasites can potentially cause cancer, they can also protect against it. This is because parasites have evolved to make their host immune to cancer. A new class of drugs called “oncolytic viruses” are being used to target and kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone.

Parasites and Immunity

There is also evidence that parasites play a role in the immune system, helping to maintain a healthy balance. Parasites cause an immune response that can potentially reduce inflammation and actually help protect against tissue damage.

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The Bottom Line

Though there is still much to learn about the connection between parasites and cancer, it is clear that there is a relationship that could have a major impact on the way we view health and wellness. By understanding how parasites interact with the body, we can gain insight that can help us better prevent and treat cancer.

Parasites, Cancer, Oncolytic Viruses,Immune System, Immunity, Schistosomiasis, Clonorchis Sinensis