Oncology (General Cancer)/Fear of cancer


I am 47 and have severe health anxiety since last 15 years and was diagnosed mitral valve prolapse with trivial regurgitation before 6 years. All this year my fear was related to heart disease, attack, stroke arrhythmia, nuero problems etc. but one week before urine came from my blood and got scared and went to urologist and did ultrasound for kidney, prostate, uterus etc and there was no stone & infection. The Dr. gave me antiobiotic & told to complete the course. Since one week I got afraid of Cancer, which started with this infection & all of a sudden I remember one of my aunt who died of cancer, she was having blood in the stool. I started to look at my stool everytime & fearing that there is blood or my stool is black & I will get or have some sort of stomach related cancer. I am afraid to go the bathroom for my poo, even small belching, bloating, gas makes me afraid. How to fight this fear. Plz help me I am dying of obsessing this stomach cancer fear. I know that, this is irrational fear and also other can cancer, blood can come by ulcer, anal fissure, inflammation of the colon etc.My anxiety is very severe and I am unable to relax or sleep. I am taking cipralex(escitalopram) 10 mg including .25mg rivotril 2 times since one week and also taking bisoprolol (beta blocker) 5mg for my blood pressure. Please someone  help me to desensitize this fear, if I am unable to remove the fear, my heart problems will be increase.

I would suggest you learn everything you can about cancer.  For instance, you might learn that blood in the urine is rarely caused by cancer in patients in their forties who never smoke.  You might also learn that superficial bladder cancer is generally very curable (and makes up about 70% of cases) and takes a long time to become dangerous.  If you knew something about cancer prevention statistics you would know that evidence shows that having a colonoscopy every five years (and if negative, every ten) is sufficient to reduce the risk of dying of colon cancer significantly, but doing so more often has not been shown to help.  In my case, the more I know, the less anxiety I feel, because I learn that I can do something about my fears, or that there is nothing I can do, which in itself reduces my anxiety.  Hope this helps.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Awards and Honors
America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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