Scientists have today confirmed that anything you could conceivably enjoy will eventually kill you. With the prized addition of alcohol, the medical world has now ‘collected the set’ of all the good things in the world and confirmed that each and every one of them will give you big nasty cancer.
Booze, smoking, sex and sugar are being renamed “tumourfests” in homage to their supposed deadliness, as the scientific community rejoices in taking almost all the fun out of every aspect of life. A leading cancer research scientist was surprisingly frank in a recent interview:
“We’ll link anything to cancer. Doesn’t have to be true, mind, but if we say link then nobody can sue us, no matter how flimsy the evidence or misleading the statement. My personal favourite is “Doubles the risk of”, which is great because we know full well that the ‘risk’ of a particular cancer is only 0.0000001%, so if we double it there’s still fuck all chance of you getting it, but it makes a great story and I’ve got a career to further. I could say anything! Prolonged exposure to carrots is linked to cancer. Stroking this puppy is linked to cancer. I’m linked to cancer. Anything! Isn’t science great?”
When quizzed on the questionable morality of trumpeting tenuous connections between certain substances or behaviours and a life-threatening disease, the scientist was somewhat more pragmatic:
“Basically we need the money. Well, not need the money, but want it. And the only way to get the money is to do a very preliminary study and then make wildly bold claims about everything giving you cancer. Then they start giving you research funding to further research the bold claim and find that the claim was exactly as dodgy as when you first made it. At which point, you don’t really give a toss because all that research money has kept you in fine burgundy for a couple of years.”
“Look, I don’t make the rules.”
In realistic terms, if everything that was ever linked to cancer gave you cancer then you wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning without a dirty great lump springing up on your arm. As to the question of why it’s only ever the fun stuff, the official answer is that the fun stuff sells more newspapers. The news that each drink is sending you closer to an early grave is much more likely to grab attention than, say, each time you mow the lawn sending you to an early grave. Ambiguous science, sensationalist journalism and slow news days combine to cause mass panic about what’s going to kill us all next.
Don’t worry about it. Or you’ll get cancer.