Why do I have a constant fear that I'm going to get cancer?

Posted , 7 users are following.

I've suffered from health anxiety for months now, at first I was obsessed with my heart and constantly checking my pulse. But now I have this unrelenting fear that I have or at some point will have cancer.

I have no idea where this came from, my councillor thinks it was triggered by my moving out of my family home. I have been taking sertraline for two weeks now but I still can't let this anxiety go. It takes very little to set me off, MacMillan adverts for example make me nervous. And I read stories all the time about people who despite being healthy, die of this disease, my mum's sister died of lymphoma when she was only 26.

I've never had a blood test or any scans, I've always been in good enough health and never had anything that needed further investiation. I'm only 20 and this fear is wrecking my life to the point where I've self-harmed to try and stop the horrible thoughts, I know how pathetic I am but does anyone else have this fear? I'm losing grip, why is my mind doing this to me?

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Don't smoke, drink in moderation. Eat a healthy Mediterranean diet. Don't be promiscuous without condoms (HPV virus).

    If that doesn't work and you get cancer most are very treatable now. We have come a long way with cancer treatments.

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  • Posted

    I have this fear among hundreds of others your not alone at all and you do not sound pathetic I get started off by watching TV I can't watch holy city or anything lol I'm 22 and been suffering for a long time all different kind of anxiety I have gad and depression but mines more onto my health and anything can set it off xx
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    • Posted

      I can't watch Holby City anymore either, it's a shame because I used to love it along with Grey's Anatomy haha. I'm sorry you're suffering too, it really is horrible. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, hope you feel better soon xx
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  • Posted

    Hi Bethany. I'm exactly like you. But now I've worried to the point where the anxiety is making me ill. I just feel weak all the time and it consumes my thoughts.

    Mine was triggered by a testicular cancer scare and at the same time a close work colleague was diagnosed with leukaemia. I panicked and have never felt the same since. I breakdown in tears as soon as I step into her ward, it frightens me.

    That advert where they say "1 in 3 people will be affected by cancer" upsets me and makes me think even more negatively. Now I can't help but think myself or those close to me will get cancer. I never used to be like this so I don't know what happened but the brain is very powerful as my doctor tells me.

    I honestly can't advise how to turn it around but my doctor has referred me to some counselling sessions. No meds yet but I'll be happy to try them just to make these thoughts go away.

    Take a blood test to ease your mind a little and please stop harming yourself as it won't resolve anything except leave you with scars as a reminder. I'm trying to be a bit more social and spend more time with others, laughing and enjoying life so I'm not alone thinking madness.

    I wish you all the best.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the kind words, I'm so sorry to hear about your cancer scare, even more so for your colleague. If feel the same way about those ad's, they make cancer seem inevitable really.

      I'm not sure how to go about gettting a blood test, but it's proabbly a good idea. And I definetly will try to get out more!

      Thanks again, and I hope you feel better too xx

       

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  • Posted

    I know it's hard, but you need retrain your thinking.....surprisingly anxiety is about control, desperately trying to stop certain perceived things happening whether it be health, what other people are thinking or doing etc.. It's hard to accept but unfortunately some things we don't have control over, death and illness to a point are two of those things. I've had anxiety about those two things and when I embraced the fact these two things I have no control over them and they are part of life it began to lift. Obviously you have to have some vigilance over your health but there are literally 100s of illnesses, conditions, diseases there isn't enough time in anyone's life to worry about all of them. ☺ Try and let go and start living. I find mindfulness and cbt very helpful to deal with all aspects of anxiety. X
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  • Posted

    I know it sounds like a blasé thing to say, but change your thoughts. I also know that changing your thoughts is an extremely difficult thing to do, so take my word for it, I'm not actually being blasé. Even if it's for a small amount of time each day, and even if you're not always succesful keep doing this. Find a quite place where you can relax by yourself, close your eyes, and visualise a thing that relaxes you. Then you will observe, how it actually is your thoughts that are affecting your feelings and how you can control them to an extent. This can actually help you to become a more chilled out person all the time, which is something most of us could do with. Hope it helps. Take care.
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