Main Article Content
Breast cancer, Conceptual metaphors, Breast cancer phobia
Background: Specialists, researchers, patients, and even their families use metaphors to describe diseases. Metaphors are known to be central tools in both communication and thinking. Crucially, even though many metaphors become conventionalized, metaphor choices are seldom neutral.
Methods: This study investigated metaphors associated with breast cancer using data from SID, magiran, and noormags databases.
Results: The results showed that a number of medical concepts of cancer are expressed using conceptual metaphors, and that Persian speakers use different metaphors to express medical concepts related to breast cancer, such as "breast cancer is bad", "breast cancer results in an inactive life", and so on. These metaphors can have both positive and negative effects on common perceptions of breast cancer. The use of metaphors to address diseases, especially breast cancer, can cause feelings of fear and phobia among patients directly or indirectly, leading to a lack of timely referral for early treatment, fear of stigma or loneliness and death.
Conclusion: The findings of this research can inform experts, researchers and doctors that the use of words can be both curative and destructive. Thus, they should consider this issue in their careers and statements.
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