Doctors Have Stopped Talking about “Battling Cancer”


Doctor say cancer is not a war or a battle to be won and they should stop referring to it in that way. The reason for this change of thought is because by talking about beating cancer and fighting cancer, it can give the impression that the patient is not trying hard enough to get better and that's why the cancer is “winning.” The length of cancer survival has increased slowly for all cancers, but the fact that this isn’t always the case shouldn’t reflect negatively on those who are receiving treatment. Battle metaphors can put a great deal of pressure on the newly diagnosed patient. Individuals describe feelings of letting friends and family down when they are not seen as constantly “fighting the cancer.” Words such as “living with cancer" make it easier to go through the ups and downs that are inevitable when living with a cancer diagnosis, without feeling the constant need to be proving the ability to fight.