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Patients with cancer lose many things of importance. As soon as they hear the words “you have cancer,” they lose control over their lives, as medical appointments immediately begin to shape their daily schedules. They may lose the ability to participate in activities that bring them joy, as a result of chronic treatment adverse effects such as neuropathy, bowel issues, or lymphedema. Too many lose their lives. We also commonly hear the statement that a patient has lost “his or her battle” with cancer. As physicians who treat oncology patients, and as advocates, we believe that this quote is unsuitable and even demeaning to the patient, his or her family, and friends.
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Ellis LM, Blanke CD, Roach N. Losing “Losing the Battle With Cancer”. JAMA Oncol. 2015;1(1):13–14. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2014.188
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