Cancer Phobia is difficult to define. Phobias, as described by health professionals, are irrational fears of a specific object, animal or situation. However, if you have recently been diagnosed with cancer or there is a chance that you may have developed this condition, it is a perfectly reasonable response to be fearful. Some individuals are so afraid that they might have developed cancer that the slightest ache or pain causes them to rush to the doctor to have it checked out. Immediately, the individual fears the worst; they start to ruminate about their cancer and how this might develop over the coming months. Essentially, this condition, although it revolves specifically around cancer, is hypochondriasis. Other individuals, because of their innate fear of cancer and of death, will go at lengths to avoid seeking treatment.
Interestingly, these fears and anxieties will actually have an effect on the autoimmune system, and it is important, if it is affecting your life, to seek psychological treatment. The approach of choice is one that combines psychodynamic psychotherapy with hypnotherapy.
David Kraft PhD