Our responsibility to survivors

Kathy Redmond

According to the media version, an individual who develops cancer embarks on a ‘battle’ – those who win are cured, while those who lose die. This simplistic story overlooks the many whose cancer is brought under control rather than cured, as cancer becomes more like a chronic disease. You do not, after all, fight a battle against heart disease, and the media do not present heart patients in terms of winners and losers. But even if we accept the premise of cancer as a battle, then not all survivors celebrate victory. Some have been dreadfully traumatised, not so much by the cancer as by the cure.

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