GenitoUrinary Cancer

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GenitoUrinary Cancer

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The Problem With The Phrase 'Beat Cancer'

My dad passed away from prostate cancer when I was 18. His diagnosis wasn’t optimistic, but I tried to be. I vividly remember waiting in line at a Souplantation not long after he’d shared the news and telling him, “Dad, it’s OK, you’re so strong, you can beat this.”

My dad ― a primary care physician ― took it in stride, nodding good-naturedly at me and my little sister. But he knew it was unbeatable at that point.

Thirteen years after his death, I’m still regretting that moment.

I berate myself over those words because they quietly imply that cancer is a win-lose battle and that you’ve somehow “lost” if the disease overtakes you.

The idea that you can…

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Last Updated : Monday, June 13, 2022