An Israeli insurance company, Meuhedet, has published a booklet designed to educate patients on “special women’s cancer.” That’s because breast cancer is too titilating of a name to be used in haredi communities. Ovarian, uterin, and cervical cancers were offended by the euphemism, protesting, “What? We aren’t special?!”
The totally unfunny part is that at-risk women aren’t getting the facts. Not only is the affected body part never mentioned, there are also no accurate drawings to explain how to do a breast self-examination. With breast being the most common form of cancer in Israel affecting 4,000 new female patients and 50 new male patients a year, perhaps some women out there would rather know the risks and live? Then again, there are fragile male minds to think of.
How can these men take this problem seriously if they’re too busy getting aroused by such sexy terms? Yes, a part of me understands the need for the word substitution. Cancer is a serious matter, and I for one can’t hear the word breast without tittering like a school girl. If Meuhedet Insurance wants people to take cancer seriously, they have to treat it seriously. They can’t have patients getting distracted by tantalizing terms and provocative medical diagrams. We’re all safe from the filth for now, but if terms like breast begin to pop up, it’s bound to be the old slippery slope to medically accurate pornography–and immodesty is far more dangerous than cancer could ever be.