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Comment & Response
January 8, 2014

Changing the Terminology of Cancer

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
JAMA. 2014;311(2):202. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.283379

To the Editor Dr Esserman and colleagues1 suggested reserving the term cancer for conditions with natural histories ending in metastasis and death to decrease rates of overtreatment for less aggressive forms of disease. Esserman et al1 acknowledged that the term cancer has taken on a broad meaning within the cultural lexicon; however, they do not consider the psychological consequences of changing the diagnosis for millions of people who already see themselves as cancer survivors.