War Metaphors and ‘Strong’ Survivors: Do the words we use to discuss breast cancer help or hurt patients?
October 15, 2019 | Heather Gehlert
Many news stories and casual conversations alike include words like “warrior,” “battle,” and other militaristic terms to describe efforts to end breast cancer. But how do the people whose lives are at stake feel about these words? Do they confer a sense of strength and empowerment? Or do they do more harm than good? That’s a question that a fellow journalist and woman with breast cancer recently posed in one of my online support groups, and it’s one that I’ve been asking myself a lot lately, now that I’ve been diagnosed with an aggressive form of the disease. more