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Inspired by friends, patients, and several good books.

The big-C word. A four-letter word. A four-letter word that really has six letters. The unspoken syllables. A word that hits you in the chest like a professional baseball pitcher has just served you up their best efforts directly to the sternum. A word that is so heavy that you need two hands to hold it. A word that, if carried on your shoulders, will cause you to stagger. Cancer. But maybe it should be called can't, sir. Because suddenly you can't eat enough, can't go out, can't be exposed to germs, can't dream as big or as high or as long.


It's a word uttered daily. Multiple times. In my short stint as a pretend urology registrar, it was something that came up with half of my patients. We're going to try to remove all of the cancer. We got some of the cancer. You might have cancer. The cancer is impinging on your ureters, and now you need a procedure to open them. The cancer is winning. The su…

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