A new study out of Oxford this week has linked the rise of cancer in modern society to reading articles that link random things to cancer. 

    Professor Artimus Jones, PhD, headed up the study. He says that if his team’s research holds up, this will be a real break through in the field.

    “Right now it’s too early to say if there is definite causation, but most people don’t care about that,” he beamed.

    Articles about what is causing high rates of cancer have blamed a number of “ordinary” things recently, from microwaves, cellphones and other new technologies, to processed and/or genetically modified foods, and even irony. The tendency, says Professor Jones, has been to focus on “new objects or processes in the world, because, seemingly, cancer is something that was very rare as recently as thirty years ago.” 

    This line of thought may not be too far off, he says. His team set out to tackle the question of “why” in a unique way, however. “We noticed in our test subjects who have cancer, that many of them, often times against their will, kept being exposed to articles linking innocuous objects to cancer. This was every time, across the board.” 

  While the data have not been verified independently, the world of cancer research has taken notice. Dr. Billy Blade of Yale Medical School, whose own study linked lymphoma to the rise in the love of irony among young people in 2005, says it may be a game changer. 

 “I’m very taken aback, honestly. I thought my research was helpful, but it may have been the opposite,” he lamented. 

  “It’s almost like no one studying the root causes of cancer knows what they are talking about. It’s kind of soul crushing if you think about it.” He then stopped thinking about it. 

  Professor Jones feels strongly that these articles must stop, or cancer may continue to spread. “The problem with all these articles is that they simply take two close in time events – one always being the spike in cancer rates, and the other, a completely random change in society – and they draw a conclusion based on fear,” he said.

  He noted that social media and email, and what he calls “total and debilitating societal ignorance,” have caused these articles to disseminate more quickly than in the past.

  “It’s like fighting a snow storm with a flashlight, or maybe a lighter. I’m not good with analogies because I am in the lab a lot,” he said.

  The saddest aspect of the study is that Professor Jones has found a significantly lower – “30-45%” – rate of cancer in people who actually spread the articles than in those who are simply exposed to them.

  “You kind of hoped that people who send these uniformed piles of drivel would have some comeuppance. Unfortunately they almost never get cancer. But they totally deserve it.”

The study is due to be published next Fall. 

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