Terrified I might have cancer and don't know what to do

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For a few months, I've been having some problems with chest pain and sometimes feeling dizzy or short of breath. The chest pain is worse if I press on my chest, but it also sometimes hurts on its own, and it's completely on and off. So sometimes I won't notice it for a few hours or a few days, then it comes back 😦

I went to a doctor (walk in since I don't have a family one), and got referrals for a CBC and EKG- CBC came back normal, haven't gotten the EKG yet. I also got a referral for a chest x-ray, after I kept asking the doctor if she thought it might be a blood clot (she handed it to me and basically said "you don't need it but if it makes you feel better then here"). Doctor said it was probably just my muscles and told me to take aleve for it, but I'm really worried that it's actually something more serious that they're missing.

I'm terrified of getting that chest x-ray because I feel like it's going to show that I have lung cancer. I know that's not common given that I'm 20, so at first I was able to reassure myself a bit, but then I realized that it could be lung cancer that spread from somewhere else, and I just never noticed the symptoms of the primary cancer. I'm so anxious about it that it's really been interfering with my life, and also with my ability to do assignments for school since it takes up so much of my mental energy- I'll have panic attacks and suddenly start crying and spend way too long looking at survival statistics and information about terminal illnesses online D:

I know that I have anxiety, but I also know that chest pain and shortness of breath are never good signs. And I swear this feels different from similar health anxiety episodes I've had before. I know that I probably should get the x-ray, but I've convinced myself that it's going to show something terminal and I don't know how I'll cope with waiting for the results.

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3 Replies

  • Posted

    at your age its very doubtful its probably inflammation of the chest lining if it hurts when pressing

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  • Posted

    Whoa!! Hold up there. You are 20 yrs old & lung cancer is almost unheard of at your age (even if you smoke) which i'm not encouraging by the way. Lung cancer often presents with symptoms such as a persistent cough, coughing up blood & even clubbed fingers in some cases. You either have a pulled muscle or health anxiety. Lung cancer at your age. A one in a billion chance. Relax!!

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  • Posted

    I agree with the other comments in that it's highly unlikely to be lung cancer unless you've been inhaling asbestos since birth! I think what you probably have is serious health anxiety and this could actually be causing the chest pain in the first place. Speak to a doctor about counselling and or meds to help with your anxiety rather than getting yourself stressed about a range of terminal illnesses.

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