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Cancer Support: Making Love Versus Waging War

By Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger
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Photo: Fox Chase Cancer Center

When a person is diagnosed with cancer, one of the first things friends and family members often do is launch into the words of war. Terms such as “fight” and “battle” start being used, and the cancer patient starts being called a “warrior” or “fighter.” In a time of great uncertainty, stress and personal pain, the patient is asked to muster up their courage and always, always be a “good soldier” in their “fight”.

This terminology is now seen by many as out of date and not in the best interests of cancer patients. The “war on cancer” phrase comes from the National Cancer Act signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1971. It was a federal law that amended the Public Health Service Act to strengthen the National Cancer Institute and put more national resources into efforts to fund research and find a cure for cancer.

Those responsible for declaring the “war” came of age in a time when most people who had cancer didn’t live very long. Now, 40 years later, there have been significant accomplishments in cancer treatments, especially for children. New forms of treatment, such as targeted drug therapies, are enabling some to live with cancer as a manageable chronic illness. Public education programs advocating early detection and screening for formerly taboo topics such as breast and prostate cancer are saving lives. Today there are an estimated 11 million cancer survivors living in the U.S. Some are cancer free, others are living with the disease.

One of the country’s leading cancer centers has launched a pioneering campaign to change the dialogue around cancer support. Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia named the initiative “Love Versus Cancer.” The goal is to honor and promote the strength and hope that love brings to the challenge of confronting cancer.

“Love Versus Cancer” offers individuals who have been affected by cancer a way to easily connect with others who have been touched by the disease, in both public and private ways.It's anchored by an interactive website http://www.loveversuscancer.org/

The site states that Fox Chase staff developed the concept after asking the question, " What unifies everyone confronting cancer?

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

So glad to see this....

October 27, 2010 - 10:43am
EmpowHER Guest

Yea!!! I love this! I have never ever said or thought that I "fight" cancer or that I am 'waging a battle' against cancer. I send it and myself love and forgiveness. It is the only healthy way to approach cancer and life itself.

October 27, 2010 - 9:05am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.