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This oncologist doesn't see cancer as a 'battle' you can win

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Thursday, June 15, 2023 - 11:50am
Updated: Friday, June 16, 2023 - 8:23am

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Elaine Schattner, author of "From Whispers to Shouts: The Ways We Talk About Cancer."
Columbia University Press, Rob Feiner
Elaine Schattner, author of "From Whispers to Shouts: The Ways We Talk About Cancer."

We often talk about cancer using the language of war: “She’s battling breast cancer” or “he won his fight against lung cancer.” 

Elaine Schattner doesn't see it as a battle. Schattner was an oncologist and is also a cancer survivor — another phrase she questions. Today, she is a clinical associate professor at Weill Cornell Medicine and she’s out with a new book about the language of cancer called "From Whispers to Shouts: The Ways We Talk About Cancer."

In it, she traces the history of this kind of battle language around cancer.

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