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What do you think of the term ‘Survivor’?

User
Posted 15 Jun 2017 at 16:49

As a bit of background, earlier this year we launched our Stronger Knowing More campaign, aimed at raising awareness of a black man’s increased risk of prostate cancer.


Later this year, and with a new batch of well known faces supporting our campaign, we will be launching further outdoor advertising across London and Birmingham.


We’ve been working closely with a research agency to find out from members of the public what they think about our campaign. Some feedback suggested it wasn’t clear which of the men on our posters had prostate cancer - so we want to improve on that.


What do you think about the use of the word ‘Survivor’? We’d use that term to reference men who have had prostate cancer and been through treatment. We want it to be seen as a positive and empowering term.


For example, we might say, ‘Errol, 60, Survivor’.


Please tell us what you think – do you like the use of ‘Survivor’? What does that word mean to you? Do you think there’s a better term to use? Your input is really valuable.


Many thanks,


Hollie

User
Posted 15 Jun 2017 at 21:27

For the national inquiry into child sexual abuse, there was a similar debate about whether people affected should be referred to as victims or survivors - some identify as survivors while others find that to be an insult to their experience. The IICSA decided to allow those giving evidence to choose whichever term they identified with most strongly.

On here, we have had previous conversations about how devastating it is when friends or family say 'oh prostate cancer, well that's a good one to get" or similar and I wonder if 'survivor' perpetuates that myth?

Perhaps the poster could simply say 'Errol, 60, diagnosed 2011' or something like that?

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
User
Posted 15 Jun 2017 at 17:51
Hi Hollie

Isn't it more to the point that you cannot spot the individuals who have or haven't had Prostate Cancer, therefore showing the inportance of getting checked out.

Roy
User
Posted 15 Jun 2017 at 17:58

I don't like ‘Survivor’. The reason I don't like it is that it implies that if you have treatment for PCa then you've beaten it. Not true; in almost every case of PCa it will not be possible to say you've survived it until you're about to die from something else.

I can't think of one word to replace ‘Survivor’. Using your example, how about:

‘Errol, 60, fighting back’.

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User
Posted 15 Jun 2017 at 17:51
Hi Hollie

Isn't it more to the point that you cannot spot the individuals who have or haven't had Prostate Cancer, therefore showing the inportance of getting checked out.

Roy
User
Posted 15 Jun 2017 at 17:58

I don't like ‘Survivor’. The reason I don't like it is that it implies that if you have treatment for PCa then you've beaten it. Not true; in almost every case of PCa it will not be possible to say you've survived it until you're about to die from something else.

I can't think of one word to replace ‘Survivor’. Using your example, how about:

‘Errol, 60, fighting back’.

User
Posted 15 Jun 2017 at 19:03
I like the term survivor, I had a stroke three years ago and the term stroke victim was in common usage and we were encouraged to call ourselves survivors but maybe the correct term would be prostate cancer patient which is. A less emotive term .
User
Posted 15 Jun 2017 at 19:43

I'm not sure on the word Survivor. Maybe if it was caught early and following treatment given the all clear but if like my husband with advanced prostate cancer affecting both bones and lymph nodes I feel it's likely to be a battle and we will have to keep fighting. Survivor almost assumes the disease has been overcome. For some this will be a lifelong battle.

User
Posted 15 Jun 2017 at 19:46

Hi Hollie,


I tend to agree with ColU_FC.  For cancer, how do you define "survivor", 1yr, 5yrs, 10yrs, ever?  It would give me a false sense of security, and if a biochemical recurrence did happen, I'd be ever saying "Survivor - my ar*e!"


Flexi

User
Posted 15 Jun 2017 at 21:27

For the national inquiry into child sexual abuse, there was a similar debate about whether people affected should be referred to as victims or survivors - some identify as survivors while others find that to be an insult to their experience. The IICSA decided to allow those giving evidence to choose whichever term they identified with most strongly.

On here, we have had previous conversations about how devastating it is when friends or family say 'oh prostate cancer, well that's a good one to get" or similar and I wonder if 'survivor' perpetuates that myth?

Perhaps the poster could simply say 'Errol, 60, diagnosed 2011' or something like that?

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard
User
Posted 15 Jun 2017 at 21:59
All I can say is that everyone who encounters this disease is a survivor in one way or another . For some of us we survive longer than others . For some survivors the journey is not so long.

BFN
Julie X
NEVER LAUGH AT A LIVE DRAGON
User
Posted 15 Jun 2017 at 22:32

You have a poster circa 1 man dies very hour which makes the point its a serious disease whereas survivor can prompt the attitude Lyn mentioned.

A word that covers had treatment and still in remission 'x' years later is?

Ray

User
Posted 16 Jun 2017 at 01:26

To my way of thinking, 'survivor' has connotations of having come through a single calamitous event which has ended whereas PCa involves an ongoing journey which may end in death through other causes but in many cases may lead to premature death. by PCa. I can't think of a single word that well conveys what is intended. 'Ten year survivor' (or whatever the time may be), I feel gives a better ongoing sense of the situation.

Barry
User
Posted 16 Jun 2017 at 05:58

I too don't like the word survivor either, because as I'm fighting back from a seemingly hopeless situation i.e. Initial PSA 1547 now down to 157, with extensive bone mets and classified as incurable, I want to known as Jeff 64 PSA Warrior!!😜

User
Posted 16 Jun 2017 at 08:31
I don't like 'survivor' as it implies the battle is over and has been won. I'm 46 with Gleason 9 and without sounding pessimistic, do believe that unless something else gets me first, I'm going to die from PCa. Survivor implies the threat has gone away, has been neutralised. I don't feel like a 'survivor'. I'm just someone who's got P Ca.

Edited by member 16 Jun 2017 at 08:32  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 16 Jun 2017 at 09:59

I personally hate the term 'survivor'.


Partly because it isn't strictly accurate - you 'survive' when you come out the the other end - if you are cured, you're a survivor, but how many men with PCa can say that?


Fact is, we're men who live with PCa. Not a nice, neat marketing term, to jolly us along and hide the real connotations of cancer, but that's what we are.


And that's my other other objection. We have cancer. The sooner we learn to accept that, the more chance we have of making the best of things. Once we start dressing it up, and hiding from the C word (cancer), we complicate things for us - and leave a legacy of deceit and cowardice for the next generation to sort out.


I'm not a 'survivor; I probably never will be. I'm living with cancer, with a 50/50 chance that I'll die of it.


 


Not so hard to say, really  ;-)

.
-- Andrew --
"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx
User
Posted 16 Jun 2017 at 13:52

Hi everyone - thanks so much for all your feedback it's been incredibly helpful! I do take on board that the use of survivor divides opinions, so we may steer away from it.


Lyn - I particularly like your idea of Errol, 60, diagnosed in 2011. I think that could work really well, so thank you for that.


Any other suggestions, please do add a comment :)

 
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