Guido knows all the looks they teach at Wife School, and then some. The one she favors on me this evening is the one that combines pity and contempt with resignation, perhaps just a taste of affection tossed in. “You didn’t know this?” she asks, or rather, states. “You’re telling me, this comes as a surprise?”
The occasion — bear with me — is an article about throat cancer.
…[R]esearch at the University of Maryland into throat cancer and squamous-cell cancers of the head and neck, which have been increasing sharply in recent years, [points to the role of] the human papillomavirus — the same sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer and is the target of a vaccine for girls. The virus can also be spread through oral sex, causing cancer of the throat and tonsils, or oropharyngeal cancer.
The new research builds on earlier work suggesting that throat cancer tumors caused by the virus behave very differently from other throat cancers, and actually respond better to treatment. And the new research suggests that whites are more likely than blacks to have tumors linked to the virus, which may explain the poor outcomes of African-Americans with HPV-negative tumors. — NYTimes
As you plow through the article, which is sooooooooooo carefully phrased, you see how the researchers eventually come to the conclusion that medicine, health care, and race per se have nothing to do with it. It’s human behavior. Specifically, sexual behavior:
The racial gap has often been explained as a result of late diagnosis among African-Americans, lack of access to care and less aggressive treatment, but experts said that in the case of oropharyngeal cancer, there appeared to be distinct biological differences between the tumors. This suggests that the racial gap in survival for this particular cancer may trace back to social and cultural differences between blacks and whites, including different sexual practices, experts said.
Got it yet? Lab research indicates that white people are giving and getting head more than Black people, so the throat cancers white people end up with are more easily treatable, boosting whites’ survival rate. So, I suppose, they can climb back right back in the sack or back seat or office lounge and get back down to business once again.
I present my conclusions to Guido, who rewards me with The Look. There’s also a slice of “You Don’t Know How Good You Got It, and How Little You Deserve It” on the side.
Heh. Get out the lab coats and leather aprons — there’s research to be done! Just in time for the weekend, too.