Mastodon #hpm Tweetchat 07.23.2014 - The Importance of Language ~ Pallimed

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

#hpm Tweetchat 07.23.2014 - The Importance of Language

Language represents symbols and the meaning of those symbols depends on the nature of our interaction. When sitting in a clinic and receiving bad news, patients will cling to every word. Doctors may choose words carefully, avoiding some terms and emphasizing others. Patients and families, listening carefully to each word, walk away from these emotionally charged interactions, often hearing different words, and many times finding different meaning. Vinay Prasad studied the written words used in the Oncology literature, specifically the word “cure”. Defining cure as the chance someone will die of cancer being no greater then that of the age of their peers in general population dying of any cause. However, he found that nearly half the oncology literature uses the word cure to describe diseases that are considered incurable, that do not meet that definition. So, what do is meant by cure?

Another equally confusing term is “fight”. What does it mean to fight cancer? Perhaps even more important, what does it mean to “lose the fight?” Stuart Scott received the Jimmy V award at last weeks ESPYs. Although the language of a battlefield was used throughout the talk, he introduced a new twist when he said, “When you die that does not mean you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live”. Fighting cancer or learning to live with cancer, its a matter of language, its a matter of perspective. Choosing to “fight” or choosing to “live”, we must choose our words carefully.

We will be exploring both of these topics in depth during the #hpm Tweetchat tonight.  We hope you will join in the discussion with us.

-Debra Parker Oliver, MSW, PhD, University of Missouri, Columbia

What: #hpm Tweetchat
When: Wed 7/23/2014 - 9p ET/ 6p PT
Host: Debbie Oliver 
Facebook Event Listing:

T1 What is a "cure?" How does the meaning of the word cure change in different situations? #hpm

T2 @StuartScott gave a moving speech at the @ESPYs this month. Please watch/listen and let's discuss: #hpm

If you are new to Tweetchats, you do not need a Twitter account to follow along.  Try using the search function on Twitter.  If you do have a Twitter account, we recommend using, for ease of following.

We will be posting the transcript and analytics here after the chat takes place.
Chat Transcript and Chat Analytics courtesy of @Symplur

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