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  • Writer's pictureThe After Cancer

Scanxiety: coping with fear and anxiety of cancer scans

Cancer survivor suffering with scanxiety is doing a brain scan.

For cancer survivors, regular scans are a necessary part of follow-up care. However, the anxiety and fear that come with these scans can be overwhelming, leading to what is commonly referred to as "scanxiety."

Scanxiety is the fear and worry that arise before, during, and after cancer scans. It is a common feeling among cancer survivors, as scans can bring back memories of the cancer diagnosis and treatment, and can also lead to uncertainty about the future.

Here are some tips to help cope with scanxiety:

  1. Talk to your healthcare provider: Your healthcare team can provide information about the scan, what to expect, and the purpose of the test. This can help alleviate some of the unknowns that are causing anxiety.

  2. Plan for the day of the scan: Consider bringing a friend or loved one with you to the appointment. Having someone to talk to and support you can help ease anxiety. You can also plan to do something enjoyable after the scan, such as a favorite activity or meal.

  3. Practice relaxation techniques: Deep breathing, meditation, and other relaxation techniques can help reduce anxiety and calm your mind. Practice these techniques leading up to the scan and during the scan.

  4. Seek support: Talk to others who have gone through similar experiences. Joining a support group or reaching out to a counselor can provide a sense of community and understanding.

It is important to remember that scanxiety is normal and understandable. However, it is also important to manage these feelings in a healthy way. By taking steps to cope with scanxiety, cancer survivors can approach scans with a sense of calm and control.

In conclusion, scanxiety can be a challenging experience for cancer survivors. However, with the right support and coping strategies, it is possible to manage the fear and anxiety that come with regular cancer scans.


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