Penny Brohn UK

Help change life with cancer. For good

Penny Brohn UK welcomes discussion on language around cancer

We welcome the research from Macmillan showing that well-meaning euphemisms and clichés can leave people living with cancer feeling dis-empowered.

The results of the survey, released by Macmillan today (28 January), reveals how words and phrases used to describe cancer and its effects can add to the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis and highlights the need for clear and factual language. The report encourages people to have honest conversations about what language an individual prefers: words one person might find encouraging, another may find demotivating.

With nearly 40 years’ experience supporting people living with cancer, we recognise that each person is a unique individual with their own set of hopes and needs. The charity takes an integrated whole person approach to cancer support, empowering people to have more control over their health and wellbeing and building resilience into every aspect of life.

People with cancer frequently tell us that they want to be a person with a life, not a patient with a prognosis. At Penny Brohn UK, we see our clients as people rather than a ‘cancer patient’ and use an individual flexible approach, called the Bristol Whole Life Approach to provide free personalised whole person support. Support, which gives people choice, allowing them to express their individuality and focus on what gives them strength.

One Penny Brohn UK client said: “I know I don’t have to be strong – but it has made me stronger”.

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