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I Am Very Confused
Please Teach Me About This Biology
Update on March 20, 2023: Friends have notified me that a colleague at my academic institution has attacked me via social media because of two comments to this post that I ‘liked’. This colleague and others have been harassing me incessantly for almost two years now. I find it hard to believe that some professors don’t seem to have enough to do; instead, they monitor my every action. With respect to the first comment that I ‘liked’ that my colleagues have taken issue with, I did not like the first part of it, which was harsh. But I did genuinely like the statement, “women, the most beautiful creation on earth”. I love my wife and the other women in my extended family. I do find them to be among the most beautiful creations on earth and they are blessings in my life.
I had interpreted another comment to mean the messaging that non-cervical tissue can yield cervical cancer was “delusional”, since this is what the post was about. Instead, a colleague accused me of calling transgendered people satanic and delusional. That was not an accurate representation of my interpretation of the comment.
What I have learned through this most recent public smearing, is that I cannot apparently ‘like’ part of a statement. Those who want to terrorize me will twist it to imply that I liked the other parts of the comment. And statements that can be interpreted in more than one way will be used to accuse me of liking the harmful interpretation. Many of my colleagues routinely make these assumptions without ever granting me an opportunity to provide an explanation.
I respect ALL people. I do not adhere to the ‘VIP’ concept because I feel that each individual is a Very Important Person, with nobody being of any greater or lesser inherent value than anyone else. I believe everyone is equipped to serve a unique and valuable role in this life. I certainly am not transphobic. My sole goal with this article was to explore an area of biology for which I was naïve. Thanks to the many comments, I learned a lot that will help me as a cancer researcher.
But, to avoid having my colleagues misrepresent my ‘likes’ to promote more hatred against me, and to avoid members of the general public potentially misinterpreting my intentions, I will simply refrain from liking any more comments on my articles.
A social media message from the Canadian Cancer Society was just brought to my attention. As a cancer researcher, I like to try to stay abreast of developments in this area. I highly recommend screening to achieve early detection of cancers. The earlier a cancer is detected, the better the prognosis. However, I am genuinely confused by this message…
Here is the full message.
At first, I thought that I must be holding onto an outdated definition of what a trans woman is. It was my understanding that a trans woman is biologically a male who self-identifies as a woman. But this would not make sense, because a biological male does not have a cervix and, therefore, any recommendation for screening for cervical cancer in a trans woman would be that they do not require this particular screening because they do not have a cervix.
It is my understanding that trans women can have what is essentially a tunnel surgically implemented into their groin area. But, it is also my understanding that these ‘tunnels’ are not seeded with any cells that are specific to cervical tissue. As such, it would seem to be a misnomer to call any cancer that develops in this ‘tunnel’ a cervical cancer. Cervical cancers typically arise from cells that are unique to a biologically genuine cervix.
So, in a state of great confusion, I searched for definitions of “trans woman”. I was hoping that the definition might have been expanded to include individuals who had a biologically natural cervix. Then I could understand this messaging from the Canadian Cancer Society. However, the multiple definitions that I found were all in agreement with my previous understanding. For example, here is one of the definitions…
“trans woman or trans-wom·an, trans·wom·an [ trans-w oom- uhn, tranz ] noun an adult who was assigned male at birth but whose gender identity is female“
So, it seems that I did have a proper grasp on the definition. So, this still leaves me extremely confused by this statement from the Canadian Cancer Society. I don’t understand how a biological male can have any risk of cervical cancer.
Perhaps they mean that trans women with surgical tunneling of their groin should be screened for internal epithelial/skin cancers??? If so, these should not be referred to as cervical cancers; they are biologically distinct.
I am not convinced that cancers that might develop in a ‘neo-cervix’ would be equivalent to genuine cervical cancers. I’m fairly certain that prognoses and responses to standard treatments would likely differ. And it would probably be important to let a pathologist know whether a sample has been taken from a genuine versus neo-cervix, or they could get very confused when looking through their microscope to assist with a diagnoses.
But I am open to correction on any of my biological understandings here.
I am not being facetious. As a scientist, I am genuinely open to advancing my understanding of biology. So, if any readers see how my thinking is incorrect, I would ask that you post your proposed correction(s) in the comments section.
I will follow the science.
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