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Fear of Cancer

Treatments and tips for overcoming your Fear of Cancer.

Do you have or know someone who has anxiety, panic attacks, and Fear of Cancer? This page contains information about the symptoms, causes, issues and ways to overcome the Fear of Cancer.

What Is Fear of Cancer

Sometimes covertly referred to as the “C” word cancer can still cause havoc for individuals and families even if they never say the word. The clinical name for this fear is Carcinophobia and it may be one of the largest unspoken fears in American society. With more knowledge about the various types of cancer comes a greater survival rate. With more understanding of the disease comes more acceptance, but the underlying fear of the diagnosis of cancer is a persistent dread for many.

The Cause of Carcinophobia

Perhaps the most prevalent root causes for cancer fear is knowing a close friend or relative that struggled with and died from the disease. Watching them either die quickly from the disease or struggle for a longer period of time causes many individuals to not only fear cancer, but hate it. That hate can show up in the form of denial.

If an individual suspects cancer they may refuse to visit with a doctor, because they may reason they don’t actually have cancer unless a doctor says so. If they never visit the doctor then they will never get cancer. It may be a twisted logic, but it is one that many carcinophobics cling to.

These individuals may also be intent on applying all they learn about cancer causing agents to their lives. They will not eat foods that even hint of causing cancer. They will prepare foods only in ways that don’t seem to be cancer causing and they will refuse to use products that may potentially be carcinogenic.

Signs of Carcinophobia

One obvious sign of a cancer fear is an unwillingness to discuss the issue even if it is about someone else. Those who fear cancer will not voluntarily visit a friend or family member in the hospital with the disease. While they intellectually understand they can’t catch cancer they will still act as if they can.

Other symptoms include…
Air hunger (hyperventilation)
Clammy skin
Elevated heart rate
Panic attack
A sense of losing control
Fainting in the presence of someone identified with cancer
Overcoming the Fear of Cancer

Overcoming your fear of cancer might mean first coming to terms with the empathy and love you should have for those closest to you. They need you during the difficult times they face.

By understanding that many cancers are treatable you may be able to shift your attention away from what causes cancer to how to live with the disease. You may be able to find comfort in the fact that the survival rates for some cancers are very high.

Cancer is a horrible disease, but the fear of not knowing might be more detrimental to receiving a timely diagnosis. The truth is many times a carcinophobe is fearful about a cancer they don’t even have.

The accumulated stress of this fear can cause multiple physical problems. By working with a therapist and learning more about the treatability of the disease you may find that there really is less to fear than you imagined.

Your doctor may prescribe certain drugs that can help you deal with the fear, but the encouragement remains – deal with the fear.

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