A New York woman says she is & # 39; relieved & # 39; is after the doctors who were thought to be a brain tumor turned out to be a parasite.
Last year, 42-year-old Rachel Palma began to have difficulty remembering words and experienced slight tremors in her hands.
Doctor and doctor couldn't find out what was wrong until surgeons at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York told her she had a malignant brain tumor and they were planning to remove it.
But in September, when doctors opened her skull for the three-hour operation, they did not find a marble-sized brain tumor, but rather a tapeworm. ABC 7.
Rachel Palma, 42 (left and right), from Middletown, New York, began to forget words and experience tremors in January 2018. Doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital performed scans and concluded that Palma had a brain tumor
In September 2018, doctors were planning to remove the tumor. But instead they found a tapeworm in the brain of Palma (photo)
For some patients it is daunting news that they have tapeworms, but not to Palma.
& # 39; The good news is that I don't have cancer & # 39 ;, she told ABC 7.
Palma, from Middletown, said she first began to experience symptoms in January 2018.
She dropped coffee cups, struggled to finish sentences, and even tried to contact relatives who had died.
She visited several doctors and had several scans, but had no answers – until she visited specialists on Mount Sinai in September.
Results of her brain scans showed that she had a small lesion, about the size of a marble, on her right lobe, and doctors were planning to remove the one operation.
Her medical team admits they were relieved when they started the operation and discovered the tapeworm.
& # 39; We were overjoyed, & # 39; said Jonathan Rasouli, chief resident of neurosurgery on Mount Sinai, to ABC 7.
& # 39; We were like cheering and clapping. We were so happy … When we got in there and saw it was a tapeworm, we were like, "YES!" We were so happy! "& # 39;
Tapeworms are long, flat worms that live in the bowels of animals.
The most common cause of human infection is eating insufficiently heated meat or traveling outside the US.
Tapeworms have specialized & # 39; heads & # 39; developed an arsenal of spines or retractable hooks to attach to the intestines of their hosts.
The most common cause of human infection is eating insufficiently heated meat or traveling outside the US, but Palma also does not remember. Pictured, left and right: Palma after surgery to remove the parasite from her brain
Palma (photo) says she is grateful to her medical team and wants to bring awareness and information about tapeworms to others
These parasites do not have their own intestine. Instead, they use their outer surface to absorb nutrients and excrete waste.
According to the Mayo Clinic, tapeworms can leave the intestines and infect other organs in the body.
For her part, Palma says she has no idea how she was infected, but does not think she wants to know the answer.
& # 39; I stopped asking questions and started celebrating and getting the best out of life because it can be taken away in an instant & # 39 ;, she told ABC 7.
Palma says she is grateful to her medical team and wants to bring awareness and education about tapeworms to others.
& # 39; There is no doubt in my mind that (the doctors) saved my life, & # 39; she said. & # 39; And they gave me back my life. & # 39;
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