Carcinophobia (or the fear of cancer) is an unpleasant and very real phobia afflicting people (or even friends and relatives of people) who have been diagnosed with the deadly disease.
Do you suffer from Carcinophobia? I think that is some form or another, we all do… The odds are against us. Statistics say that 1 in 4 Canadians will die from cancer. I would like to think that I am one of the 3 who will survive, but I am really?
I lost my father to pancreatic cancer when I was 24 years old and my mother died in 2009 from lung cancer. Is cancer in my family genes? Am I more susceptible to get cancer because my parents died from cancer… These thoughts cross my mind from time to time. In 2011 after I went for a routine mammogram I got a call from my doctor’s office asking me to come in. This is a call you don’t want to get. I went to the office as soon as I could and my doctor told me that they had found a lump on my left breast and I needed to get an ultrasound done to see if the lump was something to be concerned about. I had to call the clinic to book an appointment and the first available time was 6 days away. I was terrified and I wanted to know now, not in 6 days. My mind was racing and all sort of thoughts were going through my mind. What if this and what if that… At the follow-up appointment I had another mammogram (called a “diagnostic mammogram”) and an ultrasound. After the ultrasound the doctor told me that I would need to book another appointment in order to get a biopsy of the lump. “It’s probably benign” he said, but that was not very comforting. I week later I was back to do the biopsy, which thankfully was somewhat painless, and then they sent me home to wait for the results. Waiting is one of the worst tortures. It is in these situations where the Carcinophobia is at its highest. I wanted to talk to people about it, but I did not want to alarm them unnecessarily. I needed to be comforted and supported, but I did not want to be more worried with the stories I was going to hear. It was a time a great turmoil and anguish. The results took forever to come and I was really thankful that is was negative. I did not have cancer.
I was and am so grateful for the results. These 5-6 weeks I spent worrying about a cancer diagnostic thought me something very valuable. During all the waiting times I decided that IF I was diagnosed with cancer, that I was not going to let the system get me. I searched for solutions to help me overcome this disease. I am still learning and getting more knowledgeable every day about different ways to truly heal my body and leaving no room for cancer to multiply. There are ways to prevent cancer from developing. My article “10 easy ways to prevent cancer” will help you get started in the right direction. I am still betting against the odds. Are you?