As a surgeon I have used the word “cancer” — the C-word — thousands of times in my life. I have spent my entire professional life researching it, trying to find ways to resect it, suppress it, and, whenever possible, outright annihilate it. I knew what it was. I just never imagined what it could do. I thought it was just a word. I was wrong. It’s nothing like a word. It’s a force.