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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Cancer Survivors

October 15, 2003

As a cancer survivor I found Michael Ramirez's editorial cartoon (Commentary, Oct. 12) showing Yasser Arafat as a cancer growing within a human skeleton ("Patient: Peace") extremely distasteful. It is hard enough for us survivors to live every day with a sword hanging over our heads. We don't need such a tasteless, graphic, metaphorical presentation of the illness. Ramirez should read Susan Sontag's good book on the subject, "Illness as Metaphor"; it would do him good to get a glimpse into the world of cancer patients and survivors.

We need morale boosters, not maligners like Ramirez, to help us on this uphill battle. His cartoon is neither illuminating nor humorous.

Aruna Karnik

Placentia

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