Failure to Communicate....

cottom Member Posts: 5
When a person writes a posting, article, or book at a level far above the intended audiences reading level, we have a failure to communicate. If you have read anything medical related, I am sure you know what I mean.
What are your opinions as to trying to simplify the cancer related materials available to say a ninth-grade reading level to share with those less blessed educationally?
What made me start thinking about this is my wife is a Registered Nurse, and I read her nursing magazines that come in the mail. When preparing to do so, I first get in front of my computer or get her medical dictionary out and handy. To explain a little more, I hold a MS degree, I am retired from the computer engineering department of one of the nations top engineering colleges, yet these magazines; even articles on this web site uses words I have to look up. Think about the young single mom that dropped out of high school, has been diagnosed with cancer an is looking for some information, and hope. She cannot understand many of the words used. Which sure does not help when you are scared in the first place.

Is there anything that we as cancer survivors can do to help people like the fictional single mom?

sequelae, interdisciplinary,toxicities,you get the idea.


  • I can understand your concern cottom. That is one of the HUGE benefits of a site like this, especially these discussion and chat options. We all speak 'english' (LOL) and most of us have valuable experience and information to share.
    I am sure there are other online sites which are just as helpful in various individual situations.
    I believe the medical publications are targeted to medically proficient people and and not expected to be used by the general public. However, if you can figure out a way to simplify the medical language for the average person, I say go for it.
  • CinciRick
    CinciRick Member Posts: 23
    I agree, it takes a while to learn some of the medical terms, and also some of the abbreviations that now seem obvious like ONC and METS but here is something you might think is funny.

    I was into my 4th month of chemo befor I figured out that "Cancer Survivor" and "Cancer Patient" were the same thing. I remember going to a local Cancer Awarness / fundraiser and they had a special seating section for SURVIVORS. Since I have terminal cancer I remember wondering why they did not have a section for current patients like they did for survivors?

    Seems funny now, but a year ago I would not have bothered to go to a SURVIVORS web page. I wanted to find web pages for patients currently undergoing treatment.

    Bye for now,
    Cinci Rick