Why Is Cancer Romanticized?


Cancer is a terrible disease that can change a person’s life. We hear about it all the time. It’s true that there are treatments and medicine that can help, but the battle is often rough and there is no guarantee that the person will make it. It affects not only the person diagnosed, but their loved ones.

So, why are we romanticizing this terrible disease we read in books?

I’m not pointing fingers here, but it should be noted that after The Fault in Our Stars, there were many books about cancer being published. Maybe it was coincidental. It could be. But this started before that book became a hit. A Walk to Remember was a very poignant story, but I feel like cancer was just a plot point in the romantic story line. Other titles such as My Sister’s Keeper and Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl have used cancer as the main focus, which is fine. I have nothing against books being written about cancer. I just have a problem with cancer becoming the protagonist of stories, to the point that readers romanticize the idea of being terminally ill because, hey, I read that in my favorite book!

Cancer isn’t glamorous. It’s not something you should find cute or special. It sucks. It’s awful and painful and it will not lead you to the love of your life. It’s a terrible disease, which I do not wish on anybody.

Maybe the books are being written for the right reasons, but the readers could misinterpret the point. I hate thinking there’s a “cancer trend” with books, and that authors are hoping they will create another bestseller if they write another book about cancer. We shouldn’t romanticize cancer. We should be informed about it. We should remember that there are real people in the world suffering from this, and it should not be taken lightly.


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