The emotional landscape of a cancer patient or survivor is delicate and greatly influenced by language. There are unique ways that language can be both challenging and influential for an oncology yoga professional.
It can be surprisingly difficult for yoga professionals, or anyone, to say the word ‘cancer’. This is because the stigma around the word can be felt viscerally, and no one wishes to communicate the ominous feelings associated with it.
Today, there is one prevalent strategy used by the healthcare industry, politicians, and communities to cope with the aversion to discussing cancer; war language. War language, such as the war on cancer, fighting the cancer battle, or survivorship can be equally empowering and challenging depending on the individual.
Listen: Fighting Talk: How Language Can Make Us Better, featured on the BBC.
Read: Not a Cancer Survivor, by Susan Gubar in the NYTimes