Academic English

“Cancer Treatment”

Level: Topic: Speakers: Length:
difficult cancer treatment man 01:48

Pre-Listening Exercise

What exactly is cancer, and what forms of cancer are most common in your country or area (liver cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, skin cancer, or other)? Search the Internet to understand more about the disease and look up the most common forms of cancer treatment, both traditional and non-traditional therapies. Also, discuss whether family members openly discuss the disease and if there are any cultural norms on how people deal with cancer.


“come down with” = become sick with a particular medical problem
If’ you’re not careful, you’ll come down with the flu.”

Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.

The man felt ______ when he found out about his cancer.

I once had a friend that was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and the news that he might only live up to six months was a great shock to him, his family, and his friends.

The man _____ after he learned of his illness.

However, in spite of the dire prognosis, he was initially determined to look into all available treatments that might cure or extend his life.

After several months with the disease, the man's main source of strength was his _____.

. . . but rather (than) give in to discouragement and self-pity, he took comfort his faith in God and humanity.

________ was responsible for helping the man with his medications at home.

Workers from a local hospice came to the home to help regulate his medication and provide any other needed support.

From this story, we can learn that _____.

You often can't learn these important attributes in the lap of luxury, and perhaps, such an experience is the greatest and final gift the terminally ill can give those left behind.

Post-Listening Exercise

Interview a friend or relative who has suffered from cancer, or who knows someone who has had it. Discuss the impact the disease has had on their families and how they were able to deal with it, both emotionally and spiritually. Also, find out more about the American Cancer Society and what activities it promotes in fighting cancer disease.

Online Investigation

Use the Internet to find information about one of these types of cancer: breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and skin cancer. Then, answer the questions:

  1. What are the main symptoms of this type of cancer?
  2. What types are used to identify the cancer?
  3. What are the possible treatment options?
  4. What is the possible prognosis for people in different stages of this cancer?