Talking about cancer is difficult for all involved, whether it is the person with cancer, their family or their health care providers. Why is this so hard? Communication professor Wayne Beach of San Diego State University begins this presentation with audio and video examples of how communication occurs among those affected in the context of cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. Deborah Mayer, an advanced practice oncology nurse from the University of North Carolina follows with a look at the different meanings of the word cancer, the discomfort of difficult conversations, and the challenge of expressing basic fears. This is the fifth program in a series on cancer, as seen through the lens of Siddhartha Mukherjee's book, The Emperor of All Maladies, sponsored by the Center for Ethics in Science and Technology in San Diego.