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South Kilkenny born cervical check campaigner hits out at “Fighting” or “Battling” cancer phrases

Vicky Phelan says such language can be "unhelpful"

A leading cervical check campaigner from South Kilkenny feels cancer patients are being put under huge pressure by being called “cancer warriors” and other similar terms.

It comes following some of the commentary surrounding Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding’s cancer diagnosis earlier this week.

The Irish Cancer Society says around 43,000 people are diagnosed with the disease here each year.

Vicky Phelan, who’s originally from Mooncoin, feels phrases such as “fighting” or “battling” the disease can be unhelpful, despite people’s best intentions.

She says “I’ve seen so many women die from this disease over the last two years & I think that’s why I get upset about this type of language because any of the women I know who’ve died from this disease fought bloody hard to the end but it doesn’t mean that just because you die they didn’t fight hard enough”.

She adds “it’s not fair to the people living with the disease, and that’s the way I’d treat my disease, I’m living with it this disease, I don’t say I’m fighting it because you can’t fight it”.

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