I watched Susan Sontag on C-Span last night, and she said something that shocked me: when she first had cancer, in the late 1970’s, it was considered shameful to have this disease. A personal disgrace. Even correspondence from the hospital where she was being treated didn’t contain the words “Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center,” but rather, simply the address.
Twenty-five years ago is hardly the Dark Ages. Does anyone here have anything to share regarding peoples’ attitudes toward cancer a mere twenty-five years ago?

I did a quick google search and found this page, which had this paragraph:

The footnote (4) references this book:
Paterson JT. The Dread Disease: Cancer and Modern American Culture. Harvard Press: Cambridge. Massachusetts, 1987.

It sounds like an interesting book because I had never considered whether cancer had ever been stigmatized.