Understanding Cancer Metaphor within the LCCM Theory

  • Monica Liaw Kah Pei Faculty of Language Communication, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
  • Collin Jerome Faculty of Language Communication, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak


Cancer is a complicated disease that is usually difficult to talk about. While studies on cancer metaphors have shown that different metaphors have been used at different frequency of usage in narrating cancer, there have been few attempts to examine the metaphors used by cancer patients in relation to their cognition. This is because metaphors are also connected to the nature of mental process, reflecting the cognition that could provide insights to the patients’ beliefs on cancer instead of being only as a rhetorical device. This study examined the data collected from 31 cancer patients from Kuching, Sarawak through semi-structured interview in light of the connection mentioned using the Metaphorical Identification Procedure (MIP) and LCCM theory through unified framework of analysis,. The results show that the patients turned to “journey”, “conspiratorial” and “structural” metaphors more to describe their cancer conditions. Besides, the results also show that the cancer metaphors used by these patients shed further insights into patients’ cognition about cancer and the connection with their sociocultural background (e.g., social network, occupations, life experiences). Thus, it was concluded that such insights may help to address some of the current debate regarding metaphors used in oncology especially on the connection to the nature of the mental process.

Author Biography

Collin Jerome, Faculty of Language Communication, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

Collin Jerome is senior lecturer of the Faculty of Language and Communication, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS). He received his PhD in English Literature from the University of Sussex. He has published numerous papers in his areas of research interest, namely literature and applied language studies, gender, sexuality and identity studies.


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How to Cite
PEI, Monica Liaw Kah; JEROME, Collin. Understanding Cancer Metaphor within the LCCM Theory. Asian Journal of Behavioural Sciences, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 1, p. 33-52, mar. 2020. ISSN 2710-5865. Available at: <http://myjms.moe.gov.my/index.php/ajbs/article/view/7674>. Date accessed: 11 aug. 2020.