I saw a sign today that said Help Whip Breast Cancer. While I am all for the sentiment, I think that perhaps we should focus first on beating breast cancer.
I understand that the sports/illness metaphor has been prevalent for years now, but in this instance I think a different terminology might be needed. Let’s not worry about a blowout just yet. Win first. If we can nip breast cancer by a field goal, I’d be just fine with that. We’re trying to cure a horrible disease, not get to #1 in the BCS.
The comparison to sports can be somewhat dangerous. What if some scientist has a breakthrough, and in his excitement over his discovery, winds up and spikes the beaker containing the cure for cancer on the floor? Or what if somebody haphazardly leaves the cure for cancer next to a Gatorade, and Dr. Van Nostrum isn’t paying close attention when he takes a swig?
Saying you want to whip cancer is stating more than just a desire to overcome a horrible disease. It’s saying that you want to embarrass breast cancer. Winning is not enough. It sounds like some of the boys down at the lab working on this baby are getting vindictive about finding a cure: Ladies and gentlemen, we’d like to announce to the world today that not only will we find a cure for breast cancer, but we will tar and feather every individual breast cancer cell we find. We realize that this may be damaging to the patient, but we must teach all the other breast cancer cells a lesson.
The main reason you shouldn’t whip breast cancer is that the last thing you want to do is piss off breast cancer. Let’s just squeak by breast cancer by a few points. Then metaphorically shake its hand. Nothing more. My advice to all you doctors out there: if you’re battling cancer, and you’re winning by two touchdowns in the fourth…..don’t go deep. Just run the ball, take your win and go home. No need to have your whole offensive line coming down with melanoma.