Goats cause cancer. Yes they do. Really.

Goat Although studies have so far failed to find an infectious agent, the evidence is now pretty clear that “professional exposure to goats” increases the risk of lung cancer.


Professional Exposure to Goats Increases the Risk of Pneumonic-Type Lung Adenocarcinoma: Results of the IFCT-0504-Epidemio Study. (2012) PLoS ONE 7(5): e37889. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037889
Pneumonic-type lung adenocarcinoma (P-ADC) represents a distinct subset of lung cancer with specific clinical, radiological, and pathological features. Given the weak association with tobacco-smoking and the striking similarities with jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV)-induced ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma, it has been suggested that a zoonotic viral agent infecting pulmonary cells may predispose to P-ADC in humans. Our objective was to explore whether exposure to domestic small ruminants may represent a risk factor for P-ADC. We performed a multicenter case-control study recruiting patients with P-ADC as cases and patients with non-P-ADC non-small cell lung cancer as controls. A dedicated 356-item questionnaire was built to evaluate exposure to livestock. A total of 44 cases and 132 controls were included. At multivariate analysis, P-ADC was significantly more associated with female gender (Odds-ratio (OR) = 3.23, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.32–7.87, p = 0.010), never- smoker status (OR = 3.57, 95% CI: 1.27–10.00, p = 0.015), personal history of extra-thoracic cancer before P-ADC diagnosis (OR = 3.43, 95% CI: 1.10–10.72, p = 0.034), and professional exposure to goats (OR = 5.09, 95% CI: 1.05–24.69, p = 0.043), as compared to other subtypes of lung cancer. This case-control suggests a link between professional exposure to goats and P-ADC, and prompts for further epidemiological evaluation of potential environmental risk factors for P-ADC.

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