The cancer may be in "the organ under discussion" which is never named, and the booklet has no pictures showing women how to check their breasts for lumps. And that's because many of the insured are haredim.
Jeff Barak writes in the Jerusalem Post:
…Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in Israel. Around 4,000 Israeli women (and 50 men) are diagnosed with this cancer every year and 900 die of the disease. According to estimates, one in every eight Israeli women is at risk of developing breast cancer at some stage of her life. This high rate is attributed to the “Jewish gene”: three mutations in the BRACA1 and BRACA2 genes, relatively common among Ashkenazi women, which raise the likelihood of breast cancer by 60 to 80 percent.
Early detection of the cancer increases the chance of recovery to 90% and so health funds like Meuhedet have an interest in running health-promotion campaigns among their members to inform them of the risks of breast cancer and alert them to early signs of the disease’s appearance.
Obviously, such a booklet needs to be written in the clearest language possible, while photographs and other visual aids to describe warning signs such as lumps or a rash on the breast also have an important part to play in imparting such vital information clearly and in the most accessible manner possible.
BUT APPARENTLY not if you’re Meuhedet, the third-largest health fund in the country. Instead, this health fund, wary of upsetting some of its members (it has a large percentage of religious and haredi members) sent out a booklet in the post titled “The Special Women’s Cancer: The Importance of Awareness of Early Detection.”
Throughout its 12 pages, the phrase “breast cancer” never appears, only the coy euphemism “special woman’s cancer,” which isn’t even medically accurate given the (admittedly small) number of men who succumb to the disease.
If it wasn’t so tragic, the irony of a booklet that aims to promote awareness of breast cancer but is afraid to use the actual word “breast” would be funny. But with 900 women a year dying of the disease, this is no time for false modesty.
Just what is going on here? Who could possibly view the term “breast cancer” as sexually arousing? What self-respecting medical team, seeking to produce an easy-to-understand booklet to promote early detection of breast cancer, can write phrases like: “The cancer in the organ under discussion” so as to avoid using the word “breast”? And as for graphics, just how helpful are photographs of someone pouring a green liquid from a test tube into a brown bottle or graphics of flowers in terms of showing women how to check their breasts for lumps? This creeping haredization of everyday life is dangerous, in this particular case literally. When potentially fatal diseases cannot be discussed honestly and openly in a health-promotion booklet sent to all a health fund’s members due to a misguided puritanism, a tipping point has been reached. The sane, secular majority has to make a stand, just as it has done over the issue of women soldiers singing in IDF ceremonies, to ensure that we don’t descend into the fundamentalist depths like Iran.…