Readers respond to an article by Simon Jenkins on the use of violent terms to speak about the disease
Thanks to Simon Jenkins for his thoughtful article on the language of cancer (
Let King Charles’s illness finally change how we speak about cancer: it’s not about ‘winning’ or ‘losing’ a ‘war’, 16 February
). On getting my diagnosis of prostate cancer, my wife and I experienced a momentary sense of numbness. The consultant was reassuring, telling us he aimed to cure me. I was cured thanks to a proactive GP and an incredible NHS Cymru medical team.
My wife and I told anybody and everybody, and gave them the complete picture. We still do this to raise awareness. Once the ice is broken, even the most reserved of friends ask the inevitable questions about sex, continence and the examination. Some then get tested. If this saves one life, it is worthwhile. We use simple language. I had prostate cancer. I had surgery. I was cured. We never saw this as a battle, and this freed us from hushed-tone discussions and the use of euphemisms. It was liberating and reassuring.