When Rachel Palma came down with symptoms like hallucinations, disorientations and confusion when dealing with everyday tasks and objects, her doctor diagnosed her with brain cancer.
Indeed, a brain scan revealed a small lesion in the left frontal lobe, and Palma went in for a biopsy to see if the tumor was malignant.
Then things went weird … really weird.
"We did a small dissection of the brain tissue and what we saw was a very well encapsulated, firm lesion that was ovoid," said [Neurosurgeon Dr. Jonathan Rasouli.] "It looked like a quail egg: Same size, same look, same firmness."
"Wait a second, this is clearly not a brain tumor," he recalled saying at the time.
Asked what a brain tumor looks like, he laughed: "It doesn't look like a quail egg. Most brain tumors are very soft, very mushy, they're not very well defined, they're infiltrative and it's difficult to get completely around them."
Quickly, Rasouli took the extracted lesion away from the surgical field, placed it under a surgical microscope and opened it up.
"And what came out was a baby tapeworm," he said.
Read the rest of Palma’s unusual encounter with brain tapeworm over at CNN.