John McCain did not 'lose' his battle with glioblastoma — because cancer is not a war

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John McCain did not 'lose' his battle with glioblastoma — because cancer is not a war - Page 2 Empty John McCain did not 'lose' his battle with glioblastoma — because cancer is not a war

Post by Lurker on Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:04 pm

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https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/john-mccain-did-not-lose-his-battle-glioblastoma-because-cancer-ncna904486

A little more than one year has passed since John McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer that carries a grim prognosis. On Saturday, only one day after it was announced that the Arizona senator had decided to “discontinue medical treatment,” he passed away.

Since McCain’s diagnosis was revealed, his cancer has been discussed by colleagues, supporters and media outlets in a language rife with military metaphors. This is partly because of the context of McCain’s life — martial terms may seem particularly appropriate for a valiant man who endured more than five years in an unforgiving North Vietnamese prison. As Benjamin Wallace-Wells wrote in the New Yorker, much of his time as a POW was spent “awaiting torture or recovering from it.”

But while McCain left the battlefield many years ago, the rhetoric surrounding his illness was decidedly martial. The Republican was heralded as a “fighter,” a “worthy opponent,” and a “warrior.” He would beat cancer with the same steely determination and courage forged in the crucible that was the Hanoi Hilton. And now in the wake of his death, it is already being written that McCain “lost his battle to cancer,” as CBS New York noted in its headline.

As an oncologist, I have observed how this kind of language has become an ubiquitous part of conversations involving disease.

As an oncologist, I have observed how this kind of language has become an ubiquitous part of conversations involving disease, especially cancer. Indeed, as I have written about before, these are often the words employed by doctors and other healthcare providers themselves. As Gary Reisfield and George Wilson suggested in the Journal of Clinical Oncology: “War has an especially strong focusing quality, and its images of power and aggression serve as strong counterpoints to the powerlessness and passivity often associated with serious illness.”

These metaphors perhaps first entered the popular oncology lexicon in 1971, when President Richard Nixon declared a “war” on cancer, which he described as a “relentless and insidious enemy.” But the bellicose rhetoric, which was intended to galvanize the public and swell the coffers of cancer research, is at best misguided and at worse counterproductive. It forces a patient’s cancer outcome to be viewed solely in terms of victory or defeat, and, most distressingly, dictates the vocabulary that individuals themselves use to understand and speak of their disease.

Though cancer is often regarded as the emperor of all maladies, it is in reality merely one of many equally devastating illnesses. I have seen the effects of crippling and transformative conditions like end-stage heart failure, dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), kidney failure and advanced cirrhosis. These conditions dramatically alter the trajectory of a patient’s life, carry poor prognoses, cause anguish for families and require a heightened level of medical and supportive care. Yet patients are not routinely drafted in a war against kidney failure or dementia.

Martial language propagates the dangerous myth that cancer capitulates to patients who possess a dogged resolve and that death is the result of a personal failure.

Further, military metaphors can actually confound a patient’s understanding of his or her cancer. As Xeni Jardin, a writer and cancer survivor, put it in 2017: “Cancer, I soon learned, is my own cells going rogue. Suddenly all the combat language was confusing. Am I the invading army or the battleground? Am I the soldier or a hostage the soldier's trying to liberate? All of the above?”

Most importantly, martial language propagates the dangerous myth that cancer capitulates to patients who possess a dogged resolve and that death is the result of a personal failure to fight hard enough. These intangibles matter little. Research has shown that having a fighting spirit as a psychological coping strategy has little impact on survival in patients with cancer.

Though a willingness to seek treatment and remain compliant with therapy is essential, cancer outcomes are determined by the virulence of the tumor type and the stage at which it is initially diagnosed. It is the limits of our current treatments that inevitably fail patients, not the patients themselves.

Language has consequences in so many aspects of our lives, so it makes sense that the language we use to talk about illness would also matter.

Language has consequences in so many aspects of our lives, so it makes sense that the language we use to talk about illness would also matter. According to linguist Elena Semino, violence metaphors can even be emasculating for patients who feel that their “weapons” are insufficient to fight or that their doctors are the “generals” and they are merely “foot soldiers” without agency.

Tragically, some patients continue to opt for futile treatments and balk at end-of-life care (palliative or hospice care) because of an enduring fear that they'll disappoint family or be perceived as weak. Consistent with this, a study found that aggressive rhetoric and an expectation to “fight” leaves little space for patients to express their fear, shock, or sadness about their diagnosis.

In spite of these potential downsides, metaphors will continue to flourish inside the walls of hospitals and clinics. This is not necessarily a bad thing: Metaphors help physicians make the esoteric world of medical science and research accessible to the uninitiated. And for patients, Reisfield and Wilson remind us, “metaphors can impose order on a suddenly disordered world, helping them to understand, communicate, and thus symbolically control their illness.”

A study found that aggressive rhetoric and an expectation to “fight” leaves little space for patients to express their fear, shock, or sadness about their diagnosis.

In other words, we must remember that language that is inspiring for one person’s disease can be disempowering for someone else. Based on her work, Semino concluded: “We need a ‘menu’ of metaphors... so these can be shared with people, and people can pick the ones they want, as you do at a restaurant.”

Stuart Scott, the late ESPN anchor who died of cancer, once told an audience, “When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live.”

Seen from this vantage, John McCain beat cancer admirably.

Jalal Baig is a physician and freelance writer. He is currently a hematology/oncology fellow at University of Illinois-Chicago. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Slate, Vice, Salon and elsewhere.

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John McCain did not 'lose' his battle with glioblastoma — because cancer is not a war - Page 2 Empty Re: John McCain did not 'lose' his battle with glioblastoma — because cancer is not a war

Post by Guest on Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:37 pm

Original Quill wrote:
Didge wrote:You thus consider someone fighting for their life and being murdered a loser

I just told you, I didn't write the article.

The author says that one who is a battle victim is in a battle, while one who has contracted a disease is afflicted with a disease.  He argues that to cast one with a disease as a battle victim is to declare him a loser when he dies.

That is an insult to disabled and diseased people everywhere.  But, you're good an insults, aren't you?  


Copout reply and backtracking. You then now invoking things I have not even stated

Never made any claim to cast a victim as a loser.

That was you, which really shows you are clutching at straws

You insulted the victims of terrorism

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Post by Syl on Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:40 pm

Didge wrote:
Syl wrote:Cancer is just a horrible illness like so many others, for years people were afraid to actually say the word, it would be referred to as the Big C.

We dont say we beat a stroke or a brain tumour, we didn't win or lose a battle  with polio or pneumonia or any other serious illness or disease.
Cancer is no different.....maybe fear makes some people talk about it differently.


Nonsense yet again.A stroke is where some of the body systems have failed and often people battle to recover from this.

You just do not understand the human body and if it were not for people who have had their bodies battle and defeat deadly deseases. How on earth do you think we would have then develope vaccines for them?

What do you think immunotherapy does?

It is the terminology thats different....when people refer to cancer sufferers they use words that are seldom used when people are unfortunate enough to suffer from other diseases and illnesses.
But I think I said similar yesterday....and nothing you have written since has changed my mind.


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Post by Guest on Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:46 pm

Syl wrote:
Didge wrote:


Nonsense yet again.A stroke is where some of the body systems have failed and often people battle to recover from this.

You just do not understand the human body and if it were not for people who have had their bodies battle and defeat deadly deseases. How on earth do you think we would have then develope vaccines for them?

What do you think immunotherapy does?

It is the terminology thats different....when people refer to cancer sufferers they use words that are seldom used when people are unfortunate enough to suffer from other diseases and illnesses.
But I think I said similar yesterday....and nothing you have written since has changed my mind.



Rubbish..

People use the all the time when they combat and fight day to day conditions that they live with, let alone what people can contract

You dont think people use the words, fight when they have pneumonia?

I dont care whether you change your mind or not. The simple fact is. That behind the scenes your body fights ontinually against becoing ill. Its an ongoing battle for the immune system. Espcially when viruses mutate

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John McCain did not 'lose' his battle with glioblastoma — because cancer is not a war - Page 2 Empty Re: John McCain did not 'lose' his battle with glioblastoma — because cancer is not a war

Post by Original Quill on Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:51 pm

Didge wrote:Copout reply and backtracking. You then now invoking things I have not even stated

Never made any claim to cast a victim as a loser.

You don't even know what this conversation is all about, do you?  It's the 'battle' metaphor that implies a loser.

John McCain did not 'lose' his battle with glioblastoma — because cancer is not a war - Page 2 Trump105

Aww...po baby.  You upset again?


Last edited by Original Quill on Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:55 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Guest on Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:54 pm

Original Quill wrote:
Didge wrote:Copout reply and backtracking. You then now invoking things I have not even stated

Never made any claim to cast a victim as a loser.

You don't even know what this conversation is all about, do you?  It's the 'battle' metaphor that implies a loser
Aww...po baby.  You've missed the entire conversation.

So Quills clutching at straws has reached new levels of extreme lol

I know that nobody implies, that to battle cancer and then die makes them a loser

Only you

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Post by Original Quill on Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:04 pm

Didge wrote:
Original Quill wrote:

You don't even know what this conversation is all about, do you?  It's the 'battle' metaphor that implies a loser
Aww...po baby.  You've missed the entire conversation.

So Quills clutching at straws has reached new levels of extreme lol

I know that nobody implies, that to battle cancer and then die makes them a loser

Only you

That's because you can't process 'cognitive linguistics.'  The agent is subliminal.  It's not conscious choice.  That's the point of the article.

Awwww...more pouts?

John McCain did not 'lose' his battle with glioblastoma — because cancer is not a war - Page 2 Y5shk

And, I told you: I didn't write the article.


Last edited by Original Quill on Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Guest on Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:07 pm

Original Quill wrote:
Didge wrote:

So Quills clutching at straws has reached new levels of extreme lol

I know that nobody implies, that to battle cancer and then die makes them a loser

Only you

That's because you can't process 'cognitive linguistics.'  The agent is subliminal.  It's not conscious choice.  That's the point of the article.

I told you: I didn't write the article.


Here we go again with Quill entering tit mode

You are the only one implying this and even viewed victims of terrorism and murder as losers

So I can easily process and show up the flaws in your warped reasoning

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Post by Original Quill on Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:24 pm

Didge wrote:
Original Quill wrote:

That's because you can't process 'cognitive linguistics.'  The agent is subliminal.  It's not conscious choice.  That's the point of the article.

I told you: I didn't write the article.


Here we go again with Quill entering tit mode

You are the only one implying this and even viewed victims of terrorism and murder as losers

So I can easily process and show up the flaws in your warped reasoning

How dumb you sound! You don't even grasp the point of the article.

John McCain did not 'lose' his battle with glioblastoma — because cancer is not a war - Page 2 Trump-pout-800x430-645x325

Are you just going to keep on floundering?

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Post by Guest on Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:28 pm

So Quill has reached new levels of desperation

Its striking and ironic how you keep posting pictures of Trump, being as he also like you constantly cast people as losers.

More and more you keep digging a hole ffor yourself

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Post by Original Quill on Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:35 pm

Didge wrote:So Quill has reached new levels of desperation

Its striking and ironic how you keep posting pictures of Trump, being as he also like you constantly cast people as losers.

More and more you keep digging a hole ffor yourself

You and he are so alike.

John McCain did not 'lose' his battle with glioblastoma — because cancer is not a war - Page 2 Tenor

Both full of sheit, and clueless.

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Post by Guest on Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:38 pm

Again its you that share the similarity on casting people as losers

So much so, you are having a toddler tantrum

Its very amusing to watch

Laughing

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Post by Original Quill on Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:45 pm

You are hardly amused.

John McCain did not 'lose' his battle with glioblastoma — because cancer is not a war - Page 2 Donald-trump-is-still-soaring-in-iowa-but-there-are-now-some-clear-warning-signs

Here's a bucket for ya. Twisted Evil

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Normal is broken.

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Post by Guest on Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:47 pm

Of you looking in the mirror?

lol!

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Post by Original Quill on Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:59 pm

Didge wrote:Of you looking in the mirror?

lol!

Unoriginal.  Get your own gig!  Rolling Eyes

Laughing

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Post by eddie on Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:24 pm

WhoseYourWolfie wrote:
eddie wrote:
WhoseYourWolfie wrote:
Rolling Eyes

Cannabinoids don't necessarily "treat" the cancers, per se...

They can often ameliorate the symptoms -- that is already well known..

There is zero evidence in the O/P to give any idea, either way, of that oncologist's personal position on the efficacy of using cannabinoids in the treatment of various cancers.

Then again, eddie, you have often claimed on here to know more about medicine than the medico's, more about nutrition than any nutritionists, and more about farming than farmers..


You’re an “old-thinker”. You have set ideas and are immovable on any opinion, far more so than most others on here, also, you can’t stand being wrong and often run off when you know you are. You rarely answer a question aimed at you.

Put all that together - will be the reason that you rarely find anyone debating with you.

Especially me. So I hardly register your opinion anyway. Sorry.

Also, added to that, you are completely devoid of any emotion except anger. I find you strange.

scratch

You find me "strange" --  yet you're the one being so ignorant and narrow-minded here, eddie...

I'm not the one making angry and wrong-headed statements on this thread..

You attack that onologist outright, rather than actually discuss the topic.

You're sounding more and more like HoratioTroll and Sly by the week, as your nastiness and bullshit quotient grow more and more each day.  Time for you to take a reality check, yourself, maybe ?


I am discussing the topic? scratch
The topic is about whther this guy is right about calling cancer a “battle” - is it nota?
I said what I thought twice. Did I not?
You attacked me - is that on topic?

Or am I just a “silly RW slut floptard whackadoodle with burger sauce on top”?

Lovely engaging with you, though. geek

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Post by eddie on Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:08 pm

I’m only mezzzzzzzzzzzzin’ with you, bumble bee boy John McCain did not 'lose' his battle with glioblastoma — because cancer is not a war - Page 2 1942856362

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