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March 29, 2005

Colon Cancer is a Socially Constructed Disease

We've all been witness to the canard that "Race is Socially Constructed" on countless occasions. In fact, some professional organizations go so far as to have official policies on this issue:

``The concept of race is a social and cultural construction. . . . Race simply cannot be tested or proven scientifically,'' according to a policy statement by the American Anthropological Association.

[ . . . . . ]

Despite this, many Americans still believe in three great racial groups, a system developed in Europe and North America in the 18th century.

Yeah, who are you going to believe, the American Anthropological Association or your own lying eyes?

``We don't even come close to having enough genetic diversity for races, or subspecies -- not close,'' said Robert Sussman, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis and editor of a newsletter of the anthropological association that has taken on race and racism as its yearlong theme.

``It's hard to get across,'' said Sussman. ``The best audience to try to get to is probably high school and young college students. But even they are steeped in American folklore, and the folklore is that races really exist.''

Wasn't it always so . . . the idealism, and naivete, of youth can so easily be swayed in service to outlandish schemes and philosophies.

One reason race is a myth, the great majority of anthropologists agree, is that there has not been enough time for much difference to build up between human beings.

By most measures, modern humans arose in Africa less than 200,000 years ago, a short time by evolutionary time scales. And the migration out of Africa by the ancestors of today's Europeans, Asians, and North and South Americans took place less than 100,000 years ago.

Environmental pressure produced different physical appearances, including slightly different physiques, and Africa has the most human genetic diversity of any continent.

Well, if that's really so then we should be embarking on a whole new series of investigations, first to purge the damn racists from the medical establishment for issuing reports that encourage members of mythical groups to seek early cancer tests:

African Americans should be screened for colorectal cancer beginning at age 45 five years earlier than other people, according to new guidelines issued by the American College of Gastroenterology.

The advice is in response to previous findings that African Americans have earlier onset of the disease and higher incidence and mortality rates than whites.

[ . . . . . ]

African Americans tend to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer at a younger age than whites. The study cited a 2001 study that found that 10.6 percent of African Americans with colorectal cancer were diagnosed before age 50, compared with 5.5 percent of whites.

Post-diagnosis survival rates are also lower for African Americans. From 1992 to 1999 African Americans with colorectal cancer had a 53 percent five-year survival rate, compared with a 63 percent survival rate in whites, according to the report.

After we finish the purge of heretics we need to put in place a whole new research regime to determine what racist environmental variable(s) lead to differential colon cancer rates that statistically target members who belong to a mythical group. While we're at it, these researchers may want to investigate how a claim that contradicts the position that racial differences are only skin deep found its way into press reports:

Until relatively recently, groups of people lived far apart. That isolation encouraged certain genetic traits, not just external traits such as a particular skin color, but also internal traits, like cellular function. Now, genetic medicine is revealing just how much these internal traits can vary from group to group.


Of course, the more parsimonious explanation would be that the American Anthropological Association is purposely blinding itself in furtherance of allegiance to ideology and that their Sisyphean struggle to convince the public is all for naught.

Related: Can H-BD Aware Doctors Save Lives?

Posted by TangoMan at 01:01 PM