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Fungi can grow anywhere, including in cancer cells, according to Live Science.

Two new studies found DNA from fungal cells in the tumors of cancer patients.

In the first paper, a research team checked for fungal traces in 35 different cancer types by analyzing more than 17,000 tissue, blood and plasma samples from patients.

While their findings showed that not every single tumor sample tested positive for fungus, researchers did find the microorganisms in all the analyzed types of cancers – although they were in “low abundance.”

They added that each cancer type had its own group of fungal species, with both harmless and harmful ones. Still, scientists couldn’t determine if the fungal presence impacted the cancers’ spread.

But in the second study, another team found evidence that the growth of certain fungi may be linked to worse cancer outcomes. The new analysis specifically focused on gastrointestinal, lung and breast tumors, where the authors discovered that each cancer type respectively tended to host the fungal genuses Candida, Blastomyces, and Malassezia.

In one case, breast cancer patients who had the Malassezia globosa fungi in their tumors had lower survival rates than individuals whose tumors did not have the microorganisms.

Neither study, however, could confirm if the fungi are causing these poor outcomes or if aggressive cancers just create a hospitable environment for these microorganisms.

Even so, scientists believe the two papers will serve as a springboard for future research into the colonies of microbes associated with cancers.

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