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Cat Owners At No Risk of Brain Cancer

Update Date: Aug 24, 2012 07:59 AM EDT

It has long been believed that certain parasites present in cat feces can cause brain cancer in human beings and can also cause mental instability. However, two groups of researchers have come forward claiming that it's high time that cats are struck off the blame list.

The first group from Tour du Valat research center looked at all the current research findings, and yet, have not found any evidence linking cats and brain cancer in people. 

The second team from Oxford University's Cancer Epidemiology Unit, after conducting what they call the "Million Woman Survey" have found among many other things, that there was no more incidence of brain cancer in women who owned cats than in those who did not, Medical Xpress reported. 

Cat owners, for many years are believed to be at the risk of insanity and other ailments, not the least of which is brain cancer. 

However, last year, researchers in France discovered a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, found in cat guts and feces that could be perhaps linked to brain cancer in humans. This was because they found that the countries in which there were higher incidences of brain cancer, there also were higher incidences of the parasite being found in people. 

The researchers from the first group believe that higher incidences of the parasite T.gondii cannot be linked to cat ownership on no grounds, and thus, association of living with cats and contracting brain cancer is also baseless. 

Instead, according to them, human beings mostly get infected with the parasite while eating foods or dinking beverages that have been contaminated with the parasite. 

Also, they say, there are other studies that have shown that owners of cats and dogs are less prone to another kind of cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Apart from that, they say, there are studies that point out that ownership of pets only brings in emotional and mental well-being. 

Supporting Tour du Valat team's findings is a team from Oxford, according to whom, a survey with over 600,000 women all across Britain, has revealed that among eighteen percent of cat owners, they could find zero evidence that suggested a link between owning cats and contracting brain cancer. 

The articles were published in the journal Biology Letters.

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