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Language of Cancer

The language of cancer in Croatia

I had a week off newsletters last week. I didn’t think you would mind. I really wanted a day off and I am on holiday. As I should have expected, the day off was hijacked by a spa crisis.  I spent most of the day remotely resolving that issue and I didn’t want to compound my failure by writing – I knew you wouldn’t mind.
I am still here in Croatia, working on many a project. My latest is an online resource for our therapists and stockists. It should be live soon and will include lots of images, videos, links to articles and stories as well as revised product descriptions.  I have devoted a folder to information for journalists, PR and marketing professionals. I am always happy to chat but as I am asked the same questions most of the time, I can pre-empt the enquiries and offer the information in an online format.
The language of cancer is the thing that seems to cause most concern. No one wants to cause offence.  I (hope that I) have picked up some acceptable language over the past years of working with those living with and beyond cancer. There are certainly some words that bother me when I read them.
I always give the same basic language advice – what do you think? Should this make the final cut and be included in the online learning area?
Don’t Say
  • Suffering with cancer
  • Cancer (with a CAPITAL C)
  • Anything about battles won or lost
  • Survivor – this is more acceptable than the above but still slightly American and not universally loved
Do say
  • Experiencing the side-effects of cancer
  • Living with and beyond cancer
  • Affected by cancer
  • cancer (with a little c) 
I’d be really interested to hear your views. Any suggestions are mightily welcome.
Sending good choices


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