Follow Up: The Name of Cancer: Even Aboriginal Languages are Changing

In my last post, I shared an article that advocated for changing the name of "pre-cancers" and "early cancers" to reflect their benign, watchable, or treatable natures. The hope in doing so is to remove the stigma of "The Big C" for patients, allowing them to see a clear difference between aggressive cancers and their indolent cousins.

Working in the NWT and Nunavut, I must say that it warms my heart to see that Canadian Aboriginals are taking a big part in changing the terminology. Some of the words and phrases are so remarkably apt, perhaps we'll be borrowing them into English.

Language officials in Nunavut released their new word for cancer this week.

The new term “kagguti” comes from the Inuktitut word kagguaq, which means “knocked down out of natural order."

It replaces “annia aaqqijuajunnangituq” or “an incurable ailment," which officials felt was giving people the wrong impression of the disease.

I love the translation of the word kagguti, it explains cancer at a cellular level and on a personal one too. The cells have lost the signals that keep them from over-replicating, and the cancer could prevent a person from living their life in the expected or natural way.

Read more on CBC News.