Along with some neurological diseases, cancer is one of the diseases that people are most scared off. Even though cardiovascular diseases are more deadly, we are still more scared of cancer.
The fear that we might get sick from cancer on the one hand is very useful, because it encourages us to carry out regular medical checkups, and have a healthy lifestyle. However, it seems that some people are afraid of it too much, making them potentially paralyzing in everyday functioning.
When the Fear of Cancer Becomes a Problem?
The border between normal and pathological concern for health is often difficult to determine, but if you notice these symptoms, you should know it is going too far:
If you very upset when you hear that the cancer was mentioned on television, or when you need to visit ailing friend, or when the body notice a strange sensation.
You are certain that you will suffer from some form of cancer (although the actual risk is significantly lower) or that you will surely die (although from this form of cancer most people are successfully cured)
If you spend a lot of time and energy on checking and reassuring (eg, frequent trips to the doctor) or actively avoid situations that remind you of the disease (eg. do not go to the doctor even if for a long time you have a symptom)
It makes it difficult to function at work / college / school, in the family, among friends or in other important areas of life.
If these problems last for more than 6 months, then you should seek for a professional help and get concealing.
The Different Faces of Fear of Cancer
This fear can take the form of specific phobia called cancerophobia. People with cancerophobia any change in the body interpret the catastrophic way (eg. In response to discomfort in the stomach immediately think that there are tumor) and in most cases, try to avoid situations that trigger their fear (eg. Medical examination).
Many people who are struggling with this fear diagnosed anxiety disorder due to illness. They are preoccupied with thoughts that have or might develop a disease, although often have no symptoms.
The fear of cancer may be part of generalized anxiety disorder. In addition to health, these people care about the multitude of other things. One patient was so afraid that she might, like her mother, get brain cancer, and because of that she was very anxious every time she felt a pain in her head. However, much time is spent and the worries of success in college, future work, the selection of partners and other problems and about the accidents that might occur, which made her constantly felt like being “on edge”.
People who are in similar ways tortured with concern for the health of the problem will probably hard beat it by themselves. It is recommended to seek the help of experts-psychotherapist, and among the many forms of treatment, especially effective is shown cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).