Can dogs give you breast cancer? Bizarre medical theories that experts claim may actually be true

Can jet lag trigger mental illness? It sounds absurd, but in fact it's just one of the many strange medical theories that could actually be true.


Could it really be true that keeping a dog increases the risk of the disease? Analysis of breast cancer cases by researchers at the University of Munich showed that patients with this type of cancer were significantly more likely to have kept a dog than a cat.

In fact, 79.7 per cent of all patients had intensive contact with dogs before they were diagnosed.
Only 4.4 per cent of the patients did not have pets at any time compared to 57.3 per cent of a healthy control group — so there was a 29-fold increased risk for pet owners.

Another study in Norway reported a very high level — 53.3 per cent — of breast cancers in 14,401 dogs.

In looking for a reason, scientists found a virus common in both dogs and humans.

The one they homed in on is the mouse mammary tumour virus (MMTV), which triggers breast cancer in mice and which has been investigated for possible links to human breast cancer.
The theory is that dogs, and possibly other pets, harbour and transmit MMTV or MMTVlike viruses that can induce human breast cancer.

The researchers say the theory may help to explain why women from Eastern countries are at increased risk of breast cancer when they move to Western nations — Asian or Oriental women seldom keep dogs as pets. Migration to Western countries may cause them to alter their lifestyle, including keeping pet dogs.

Source - Daily Mail

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