Health Literacy Out Loud Podcasts
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More information about health literacy at Helen’s website, Health Literacy Consulting


Survivors? Choosing Words about People Who Have, or Have Had, a Serious Illness (HLOL #222)

by | Apr 1, 2022

Dr. Emily Tonorezos is Director of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Office of Cancer Survivorship which is part of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences. Dr. Tonorezos leads NCI’s efforts to address challenges facing cancer survivors and their families. These efforts include preventing or mitigating adverse effects and improving the health and well-being of cancer survivors and their loved ones.

In this podcast, Dr Tonorezos talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Issues to consider when referring to those who have, or have had, a serious diagnosis like cancer.
  • “Survivor” and “survivorship.” What these terms mean, why they are used, whom they refer to, and why some people react strongly.
  • Suggestions about choosing words that are respectful, inclusive, and appropriate when communicating in print, online, or in person.

More ways to learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Third Edition, by Helen Osborne. Especially relevant to this podcast is the chapter, “Patient and Family Perspective.”

Read a transcript of this podcast.

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