A rare form of prostate cancer has caused an American man in his 50s to speak illsuddenly in an accent that sounded like IrishAND; a radical change that accompanied him for the rest of his life.
In the medical literature, there are only two other reports of the tumors that trigger the foreign accent syndrome (FAS)). This is the first case related specifically to prostate cancer.
FAS is an unusual speech disorder that can cause a person to do this suddenly adopt a “foreign” accent for no reason known, with changes in pronunciation resembling, at least superficially, the cadence of another dialect or language.
The syndrome is most commonly associated with stroke or traumatic brain injury. The most famous case, for example, is that of a Norwegian woman in 1941 who suffered a head injury during the bombing of Oslo.
A few months later, he started talking to what sounded like a German accent.
A more recent example made headlines just a few years ago when literally an Arizona woman Woke up talking like “Mary Poppins”. In his case, the cause was not clear.
Much less common are cases that are definitely related to tumors of some kind. Indeed, there are only two other examples listed in the literature.
According to a case study published in 2008, a woman in her 60s began speaking in a different, unspecified accent. after breast cancer had spread to her brain.
In a similar case, an Italian woman in her fifties with a brain tumor suddenly began to speak in a different rhythm and melody.
Despite the attention paid to stories in which people suddenly develop distinctive foreign accents, most cases of FAS are generic changes in speech production which is not easily associated with any specific geographical area.
The recent case of the US man diagnosed with prostate cancer is a rare example of a voice change which sounds a lot like a recognizable accent.
The man was not of Irish descent and had never been to Ireland. Yet just 20 months after he was diagnosed with hormone-sensitive metastatic prostate cancer, he began to speak with a Southern Irish accent.
Unlike previous case reports, this patient initially he had no observable brain tumoralthough some have arisen as the disease progresses.
Given the timing, doctors suspect the patient’s APS was the result of a rare paraneoplastic neurological disorder (PND).
PND occurs when tumors occur outside the brain trigger an immune response which can affect the nervous system from afar.
Despite chemotherapy and radiation, the patient’s cancer continued to progress rapidly, gradually crippling his body and eventually end his life.
The man kept his Irish accent all the way through.
“This unusual presentation highlights the importance of additional literature on prostate cancer-associated FAS and PND to improve understanding of the links between these rare syndromes and clinical trajectory,” write the authors of the case study, which was published in BMJ Case Reports.
Source: Scientific Advisory
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.