This is an interesting read for a few reasons. First of all, there is a blog dedicated to swearing. Second, who knew there was so much history and intrigue to the phrase “Fuck Cancer?” Third, I’ve referenced some of the people she
he(sorry!) writes about. Cool.
In The Emperor of All Maladies, his best-selling 2010 “biography of cancer,” Siddhartha Mukherjee tells the story of Fanny Rosenow, a breast cancer survivor who in the early 1950s wanted to place an ad in the New York Times for a breast cancer support group. Her query was routed to, of all people, the society-page editor, who expressed regrets. “The Times cannot publish the word breast or the word cancer in its pages,” the editor primly informed Ms. Rosenow, adding that perhaps the ad could be reworded to say “a meeting about diseases of the chest wall.”
We have, needless to say, come a long way in 60 years. Not only is cancer no longer a shameful secret, it’s the frequent subject of movies, TV shows, and comedy routines (collectively known as cancertainment). More to the point of this blog, “Fuck cancer” has become an embraced (if sometimes…
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