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Avatar universal

Cancer Phobia!

I seem to be spiralling badly with this health anxiety.First, it was a fixation with my heart.That has now been ruled out.Then, just as I started feeling better a new anxiety has taken its place .I now think I may have cancer!I thought I was doing well for a while accepting that my symptoms were not cardiac,but anxiety.Now its as if my my mind wont let me relax and is trying to find another basis for my recurring symptoms.Why cant I just accept it for what it is-my anxiety dissorder!I really am losing faith in my sanity.This is truly a nightmare condition to live with!!If only the symptoms went away,then I guess anxiety would not be a problem.Or is it the other way around,that subconscious anxiety is creating the symptoms.I GIVE UP!!!
127 Responses
447939 tn?1235065543
health anxiety is awful so far i have had a brain tumour, numerous strokes, blood clots, cancers and now a dodgy heart!!!!! not bad for a 32 year old eh?
are you takin any medication or have you thought about therapy? its just a case of breaking the anxiety circle and trusting in yourself and the doctors
i have benifited from therapy maybe you should look into it
good luck
468452 tn?1225968488
Hi Dimi,

Health anxiety officially *****! It takes over your life.
I too have had throat cancer, brain tumours, blood clots, heart failure and now a dissected Aorta. I feel like I too am going crazy, heaven forbid what I would be like if I actually had something wrong with me!

Unfortunately it is just one of those things that you have to ride out, and help yourself as much as you can. As Jo said, meds and theraoy can work wonders.

Good luck with it all and I am sure that you do not have cancer but are just going through a bad patch

Sam x
Avatar universal
Thanks guys for your support.I need it at moments like this!!This whole thing has almost become like a habit,a habit I have to break,for the sake of my sanity.
Avatar universal
This is very typical in my opinion when dealing with health anxiety.  As soon as you get over one 'symptom' another 'symptom' takes its place.  First and foremost, realize that a lot of others in this forum are experiencing the same thing you are going through which is often comforting to know you are not alone.  Second, have you talked this over with anyone?  Talking it through is a very powerful tool in dealing with this.  Anxiety can be a very vicious cycle if you can not break out of it.  Keep us posted!
654968 tn?1304363030
Yep the same here. I have suffered on and off for years with Health Anxiety. The new one is a 'brain tumor' because of Tension headaches I've had for nearly 3 weeks. Seen GP three times she keeps trying to reasure me but when i get to this stage I just blip out. Not much help to you I know, just in the same boat.

Avatar universal
I have this too. From the age of 12 I have been obessed with various imagined lumps, dodgy moles and other symptoms. The obsessions take over my life at times and have gone worse since I had my children and the added fear of leaving them behind.
At the moment I am suffering with frequent urination and have myselof convinced I have ovarian cancer.
Going to the Dr tomorrow about the frequent urination and the anxiety too
Avatar universal
I too have suffered for many, many years from health anxiety.  My problem is worse though, because most of the time I can't bring myself to go to the doctor... I can't bear the thought that he'll confirm my worst fears.  I am petrified of tests such as scans, mri's or any kind of test that "might" reveal I have cancer or a terminal disease.  I know I suffer from anxiety however, medications such as  Paxil, Prozac, Effessor, even though they might help, give me insomnia for days!  Other drugs such as Xanax give me temporary relief but if I take them longer than 3 days I get very depressed, plus, they are so addictive.  I don't have money for therapy and my insurance does not cover it, what can I do?
This is exactly how I feel.  This is hell...
Avatar universal
I'm a fellow health anxiety sufferer as well...

Here is what I think or thought I have had:

Heart attack, aortic dissection, abdominal aortic aneurysm, stroke (both bleeding and from a clot), pulmonary embolism, and pancreatic cancer. There are a few more, but those are the frequent ones.

Not sure where all this comes from. Is it chemical or are we obsessed with our mortality and fear of dying? Frankly, I think ignorance is bliss and I curse the internet for all the info it has. Had I not known of these conditions, would I fear them?
Avatar universal
I am also suffering with this. It all started with a recurring sore throat and of course my first instinct was to get on the internet and diagnose myself. A recurring sore throat is a sign of throat cancer of course. This isn't when the full blown anxiety rolled in it was just the beginning. From then on I would every now and then think that I had another symptom of cancer but never bothered to visit a doctor because I was able to write it off as my imagination running wild.

A couple of months ago I began having abdominal pain and decided to visit my old friend the internet for the solution. Once again, I was told this was a sign of cancer, pancreatic cancer. Of course the prognosis of pancreatic cancer is very poor so this sent me into a tale spin. I finally had the sense to make an appointment with my doctor to have it checked out. Of course he told me I was being crazy and I was too young to have pancreatic cancer (33) of course he also couldn't rule it out. I had what seemed to be a thousand test and the result was a faulty gall bladder.

About a week ago I had my gall bladder removed but because of misunderstanding what the surgeon said after the surgery, I convinced myself that I had suffered from either gall bladder cancer or melanoma that had spread. The pathology came back from the surgery and come to find out I did not have gall bladder cancer. This is great news right, oh no not for me. I then decided that I just had melanoma that had spread. This is of course pretty far fetched since I had an abdominal and pelvic CT scan that was completely normal. I convinced myself that a mole on my arm was malignant and that it had spread and the doctors just hadn't ( I should say haven't since I still believe this) caught it yet.

Today I went to the dermatologist and had him look at the mole. He tells me there is nothing to worry about and that it is fine. He did a biopsy just to make sure and told me to quit worrying about it. If it was only that easy. I keep telling my wife that I know this is all completely illogical but I still can't convince myself that I don't have cancer. Unfortunately, it is affecting my life greatly. Because of the thought of my impending death from cancer I can't enjoy time with my family or concentrate on anything. All I can think about is how my 18 month old will grow up without knowing his father.

I know I need help but this is he first place I have found with people with similar problems. I am going o be going nuts until the biopsy comes back on my mole and even though a trained professional has told me not to worry about it, that is just what I am going to do. No matter how illogical it is.
Avatar universal
April 21,2009

This is a difficult way to live.  The fear is horrible.  I have not gone to doctors for years because of it.  I am now going to a physician who is giving me a sedative and anti-depressent.  Every ache and pain, I think it is cancer.  I have a pain on my right side now lower abdomen.  I had loose bowels all week-end took a imodium and now have gas and sharp pains so of course I think it is cancer.  Starterd to see a therapist two weeks ago.  Still not better. I know if this pain goes away, it will just be something else.  I hope the day comes when I can stop this.
Avatar universal
I have just about the same, My biggest fear is cancer...

My fears are mainly provoced by things both me & others can feel though, such as a large cluster of hard lumps that I currently feel on both sides of my groin area, For me this is "Cancer until proven otherwise". Instead of for most people where it is the other way around. I have been terrified all day now, sure its a bit less then this morning, but its still very much here.

Luckely I can go to the doctor in uhhmmm... 13 hours & 3 minutes.

I just hope he gives me the good old,

"its nothing to worry about" like he did with my past examinations..
Avatar universal
You guys are experiencing what I've had for the last 6 months.  It started with panic attacks at night, which immediately meant heart trouble in my mind.  I caused myself to hyperventilate daily for a month until I finally let go of it.  A month later I began to have a burning sensation all over my body.  Convinced I had MS, I had several tests done which showed...nothing, of course.  A knee injury right after that scare left me depressed and anxious for 2 months.  I then switched to worrying about leukemia/lymphoma (a fear I've had since childhood).  I periodically get some spots on my skin, which is my recent fear.  I've had normal bloodwork results at least 5 times in the last year, and have no symptoms that can't be accounted for with the anxiety, but I continually convince myself that I am dying.  It is a comfort to know I'm not the only one out there experiencing it.  My husband is growing frustrated with my constant unrealistic fears.
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