Being a fungus and all, I’m normally pretty jaded about some of the…less photogenic…aspects of the nutrient cycle; but this just plain squicks me out.
Nope, not a mere tapeworm infection; that’d be too normal and insufficiently transgressive… tapeworm cancer that somehow broke free of its tapeworm and just started merrily metastasizing in a human. At least devil facial tumor disease and canine transmissible venereal tumor had the decency to originate in the same species as the host; not some ghastly annelid that is horrid enough under normal circumstances.
" Invasion of human tissue by abnormal, proliferating, genetically altered tapeworm cells is a novel disease mechanism that links infection and cancer."
Doc, that’s a deeply laconic way to put it.
So, that’s why I’m not sleeping for the moment.
(edit: Apparently, because things just aren’t wrong and bad enough; initial data suggest that antihelminthic drugs that are efficacious against normal parasitic worms are ineffective against the worm-derived abnormal cell masses, as these lack the differentiated organ systems that even larval parasites have, and the drugs target. So not only does tapeworm cancer exist; it was probably immune to tapeworm chemo even before we knew about it.)