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Talking properly about cancer is Macmillan's campaign aim

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Cancer can be a difficult topic but a woman from Barrow is hoping a Macmillan Cancer Support awareness campaign can help people find the right words to talk more about it.

Sue Boucher, 46, who has stage four ovarian cancer, is part of the campaign and said some things that sound positive to other people just show that we all sometimes have trouble.

She said: “I think it is just a lack of understanding, sub-consciously they don’t want to upset you and want to be positive but it just comes out the wrong way.

Some of the words Sue Boucher does not like people using when talking about cancer
Some of the words Sue Boucher does not like people using when talking about cancer

“For me, being told I am a ‘Hero’ or that I am ‘brave’ I personally don’t like and ‘victim’ is another one. Everybody has different opinions on terms but all loved ones need to do is listen and say they are just going to be there for them.”

The ‘Whatever cancer throws your way, we’re right there with you’ advertising campaign launched by Macmillan, is highlighting the chaos and turmoil of a cancer diagnosis and the support available.

It follows a YouGov survey commissioned by Macmillan, which asked more then 2,000 people who have had or have cancer, about terminology used in association with the disease.

Findings included that 29 per cent of those surveyed said that they themselves struggled to talk about it and they did not like the terms ‘lost their battle’ or ‘lost their fight’ with cancer as it implied someone was defeated by the disease (61 per cent) and they undermined someone’s strength and courage (44 per cent).

Sue said she would talk about it more if people asked her and hopes this campaign will break down the barriers that prevent discussions about it.

She said: “I think we all don’t talk about it enough, with this campaign, I want us to raise awareness and get people talking about it the right way”

Macmillan helps around 6.5 million people yearly and say they receive around 70 visitors a day on their ‘Talking About Cancer’ webpage.

For details about the campaign and Macmillan, go to www.macmillan.org.uk