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Editorial

The Language of Cancer

Anne Katz
ONF 2014, 41(2), 111 DOI: 10.1188/14.ONF.111

Language is important to me. I have always loved words, and as a writer (after publishing nine books I think I can describe myself as such!), language is something that I don't just use for communication, but is something that I think about and consider as I put fingers to keyboard. The language of cancer is an interesting one. For many years, talking about cancer was taboo. I recall my grandmother whispering the word instead of saying it out loud. Did she think that giving the word added decibels so that it was more than a hiss would in some way curse her? We talk about cancer openly now, in "polite" circles as well-and you rarely hear the hiss of stigma anymore. But what we say about cancer and how we describe it is fascinating to me.

References 

Mayer, D.K. (2013). Gratitude: A gift of cancer [Editorial]. <i>Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 17</i>, 575. doi:10.1188/13.CJON.575