The Cheerful Oncologist

Here’s a little post-Thanksgiving quiz for the gang to take – try guessing the correct answers regarding this research study from the University of California, San Diego. I’ll even make this multiple choice…

“Previous studies have suggested that _____________ increases pain,” [said] lead investigator Dr. Mark Wallace.

A. standing while riding “Space Mountain” at Walt Disney World
B. being cruel to be kind
C. suppressing the urge to unleash a salvo of flatulence during the homily of a family wedding
D. smuggling potatoes through customs

“This is the first study using a dose-response method that suggests _____________ has a therapeutic window with moderate doses decreasing pain and high doses increasing pain.”

A. singing “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”
B. asking your sister to “pull my finger”
C. a Philly cheese steak sandwich
D. chainsaw aerobics

In a group of healthy volunteers, Wallace and colleagues studied the effect of low, medium and high doses of ____________ or placebo on pain induced by injecting capsaicin into the forearm 5 and 45 minutes after exposure…

A. pillow talk
B. yelling “hubba-hubba” outside a police station
C. Don Rickles
D. Armour Pork Brains in Milk Gravy

No dose of ____________ had any effect at 5 minutes, but by 45 minutes after exposure there was a significant decrease in pain with the medium dose and a significant increase in pain with the high dose.

A. “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”
B. breath-holding
C. moustache wax
D. Hugo Chavez’s undershirts

Despite their findings, the researchers emphasize that no conclusions on the pain-relieving efficacy of ________________ can be made from this study. Further study is needed, they conclude.

A. this
B. this
C. this
C. this

Give Up? The answers are below the fold…

The correct response for every blank in these quotes is “marijuana.”

Effect of pot smoking on pain all in the dose: study

We’ve all heard this phrase before, but something in authors’ tone reveals an awe-inspiring commitment to the advancement of health care when they state:

Further study is needed.”


  1. #1 Mary
    November 26, 2007

    What came first, Dr Hildreth’s bizarre humor or his decision to specialize in that most hilarious of professions: oncology? And his nascent zaniness flowered as an exceedingly effective coping mechanism?

    Quiz: This reader …

    A. Doesn’t care about the answer because this particular column stimulated a day’s worth of laugh endorphins
    B. May have lit up her tightly-twisted funstick beFORE reading column
    C. Finds the question and answer immaterial due to notoriously inaccurate ZAFT technology (Zany Analysis Fluctuation Tool)
    D. Can no longer recall the research question at hand but does notice her husband’s mustache is afire

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