Cancer, the big C, your horoscope, whatever. The word has a lot of impact.
When you are the patient and the doctor tells you that you have cancer, it kind of throws you for a loop - to say the least. It actually turns your world upside down until you slowly turn it back right side up - which can take months, years, decades, or never.
When you are not the patient and you think you might have cancer, it is this looming horrible death surrounded by bald people on IV's, skeletally walking around or huddled in a wheelchair.
When you are not the patient and you hear that someone else has cancer, many people do not react well because of their associations or fears of it. Some people do handle it and actually treat you as a normal human being.
But wherever you are on the list, the word cancer has emotional impact behind it. It doesn't matter what stage of cancer that is discussed, its intimidating (I'm not using the word 'scary' because we can't fear it - its not worthy of our fear) and life changing because there is no cure. Some cancers are called 'good' cancers. There is no good cancer. Even if your cancer was years ago, there is always the nagging 'what if'. Until there is a cure, this will not change.