Objectives Although there are promising studies on cancer treatment, it is still a frightening disease. For effective treatment, an integrative and positive perspective is required. Using the power of metaphors to facilitate understanding of complex and intangible ideas, this study aims to define cancer from the perspective of Turkish nursing students. Sample and Setting This study was conducted with 166 nursing students at a nursing faculty in Turkey. It was a mixed method study using qualitative and quantitative methods. Methods and Variables To capture the picture in a human mind of the complexity of feelings for cancer, writing a description and elicitation interviews were employed. Moreover, to reach ontological and epistemological level thoughts in the deepest layers of elicited metaphors, the data were analyzed in an analytical framework. Results The study provides a conceptualization of "Cancer." The students produced 92 valid metaphors. The most commonly used metaphors were found to be 'death', 'war', 'a virus', 'a malady' and 'a spider'. It was found that the metaphors produced by the students on the concept of cancer generally used negative themes. Implications for Nursing This study provides a framework for understanding all aspects of the concept of cancer on the metaphor axis. It is believed that the results will provide an holistic approach toward the concept of cancer, especially in nursing education, and will increase awareness of this concept.