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Nobody knows what the cause is, though some pretend they do; it like some hidden assassin waiting to strike at you. Childless women get it, and men when they retire; it as if there had to be some outlet for their foiled creative fire.

W. H. Auden (1907-1973) English-born poet and man of letters.

Cancer patients are lied to, not just because the disease is (or is thought to be) a death sentence, but because it is felt to be obscene -- in the original meaning of that word: ill-omened, abominable, repugnant to the senses.

Susan Sontag (1933-2004) American author.

We ''need'' cancer because, by the very fact of its insurability, it makes all other diseases, however virulent, not cancer.

Gilbert Adair (1944-?) American author, film critic, and journalist.