Cancer cliches to avoid: I’m not ‘brave’


Mandy Mahoney

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Mandy Mahoney, who has incorrigible breast cancer, says she is not “brave” or “inspirational”

Fighter, warrior, favourite – some of a terms we competence see used to report people with cancer.

But according to a new survey, for some with a illness a difference are seen as inapt rather than uplifting.

The UK check by Macmillan Cancer Support of 2,000 people who have or had cancer found “cancer-stricken” and “victim” were also among a least-liked terms.

The gift pronounced it showed how “divisive” elementary descriptions of cancer can be.

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Calling a person’s cancer diagnosis a “war” or a “battle” and observant they had “lost their battle” or “lost their fight” when they died, were other unpopular descriptions, according to a check carried out by YouGov.

Articles in a media and posts on amicable networks were found to be a misfortune offenders for regulating such language.

The consult found a welfare for significant difference to report people with cancer, their diagnosis, and when someone with a illness dies.

‘I’m not inspirational’

Mandy Mahoney, 47, has incorrigible metastatic breast cancer.

The overdo support worker, from London, was primarily diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 and it has given returned 5 times.

She said: “I consider cancer-speak can be utterly negatively installed – a brave, fighter, soldier and survivor customary descriptors put an awful lot of vigour on a newly diagnosed.”

Mandy pronounced she also objected to describing people as “losing their battle” with cancer.

“That confers that we didn’t quarrel or gave up,” she said.

Instead, she prefers “clear, significant language” and describes herself simply as “living with incorrigible cancer”.

“I’m not dauntless or inspirational, I’m usually perplexing to live a life we have left well,” she added.

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Craig Toley pronounced he had found difference like “fight” and “struggle” to be empowering, though recognized others competence feel differently

However, Craig Toley, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2016 and is now in remission, pronounced he suspicion some of a some-more certain terms could be empowering.

The 31-year-old, who is a powerlifter in his gangling time, says: “Language like ‘fight’, ‘struggle’, ‘warrior’ and ‘battle’ will be interpreted differently by opposite people.

“Personally, we found those difference helped commission me a lot and done me consider of my cancer as a plea we indispensable to fight.

“Everyone likes a story of a fighter.”

‘Divisive words’

Karen Roberts, arch nursing officer during Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “These formula uncover usually how divisive and ‘Marmite’ elementary difference and descriptions can be.

“Cancer throws all kinds of things your way, and struggling to find a words, and a romantic misunderstanding caused when a friends and family don’t get it ‘right’ usually creates lives feel even some-more upended.

“By sketch courtesy to this we wish to inspire some-more people to speak about a difference they cite to hear, and stop a repairs that can be caused to people’s wellbeing and relationships.”

Mandy pronounced it was not required for people to “swallow a text and come adult with all of a pivotal phrases” to speak to someone with cancer, and it is excellent to not always know what to say.

“If we tell me it’s ungainly and we don’t know what to contend we will find a approach to make that right for you, and indeed on some occasions we competence contend ‘we don’t have to speak about it’.

“But usually be real.”

Macmillan Cancer Support has launched a debate to prominence a hurdles acted by a cancer diagnosis and a support available.


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