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It’s worms, not tumour

Washington: The illness which has taken Leander Paes away from the US Open to a bed in an Orlando hospital is not cancerous and he does not have any tumour. Results of all blood and other clinical tests from Atlanta’s Center for Disease Control have come through and confirm that he is suffering from neurocysticercosis.

This has also been confirmed through repeat magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or brain scans performed on Leander, a statement issued in Orlando on behalf of the Paes family said.

Michelle Lynch, spokeswoman for the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando, where Leander is undergoing treatment, told The Telegraph on Monday that neurocysticercosis is an infection caused by the larval form of a tapeworm.

She said the medical team treating Leander will give details of his infection and proposed treatment at a press conference at the hospital later in the day.

The Paes family statement said the treatment protocol for Leander is now being decided by specialists at the Cancer Center and will include a combination of antiparasitic medication Albendazle, steroids and anti-seizure medicines.

“We are relieved that this is not a cancerous tumour,” the statement added.

“Leander is deeply touched by the overwhelming support he continues to receive from around the globe. From the honourable President of India, to the millions of fans offering puja — which brought tears to his eyes — to the nuns at Mother Teresa’s home offering prayers to his family and friends, and to members of the sporting, business and medical fraternities.”

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