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to be shit scared of getting cancer?

(84 Posts)
watchingthebox Thu 14-Jan-16 17:28:21

n/c for this as worried I might cause offence to people have been affected, and this is really not my intention I promise

3 weeks and a third person in the public eye has died of this horrible disease. lemmy from motorhead, david bowie and today we have lost alan rickman sad ....all only in their late 60's . the stats are not good, and seem to be getting worse. isn't it now 50% of us are expected to get it?

it seems indiscriminate, you can be healthy, normal weight, not smoke, be fit etc and you can still get it

there just seems to be no escaping it....I am 36 and remember years ago it seemed to be quite rare and then only if people were heavy smokers and / or / elderly. but sorry to sound morbid people just seem to be getting it left right and centre nowadays

i had a scare myself a couple of years ago, found a lump, needed a biopsy, thankfully was nothing. but i will never forget those few weeks of hell it made me physically ill, I lost tons of weight, couldn't eat or sleep or function. since then it has been on my mind a lot.

death itself actually doesn't scare me. if i dropped dead tomorrow then so be it. what scares me is the idea of losing a loved one. or it happening to me, falling ill and being told i am going to die. and sort of, waiting to die. possibly going through treatment getting my hopes up and it doesnt work. again I am sorry if this post is morbid or offensive to anyone ...I do suffer from health anxiety so that doesn't help

Twitterqueen Thu 14-Jan-16 17:31:51

'health anxiety' is what it is OP.
3 very good friends have all had cancer recently, plus exH. They're all in remission. Cancer is a bastard but modern medicines do actually work miracles. Honestly.

You know what they say: "You can't change what happens to you - it's how you deal with it that matters."

Make the most of now.

boopsy Thu 14-Jan-16 17:32:44

Hi maybe yabu but im exactly the same. The only thing that helps me is doing loads of research on causes and prevention so at least im doing something proactive to give myself the best possible chance, makes me feel a bit less powerless i suppose x

ScarlettDarling Thu 14-Jan-16 17:35:13

Yes op it terrifies me too.

My dad recently died of bowel cancer and every time I have a wind pain or any other symptom, I'm convinced that's it.

I do have health anxiety. CBT didn't do much for me. A low dose of Sertraline has helped me to keep things under control, but I can't ever see me being free of anxiety. It's awful.

watchingthebox Thu 14-Jan-16 17:37:39

twitterqueen I am glad your friends are recovering flowers ...and hope my post wasn't insensitive

boopsy I do the same, I try and keep healthy for a lot of reasons but this is one of the biggest ones. I exercise regularly, keep slim, (have a physical job which helps), am strict about eating a lot of fruit and veg. I did smoke for ten years between 18 and 28 ish so that worries me.

goodnightdarthvader1 Thu 14-Jan-16 17:41:42

I'm high risk for breast cancer as it runs (rampantly) in my family. Like you, not so bothered about dying, it's the treatment that upsets me. I hope they find gentler ways of treating it before I reach my 60s.

Titsywoo Thu 14-Jan-16 17:43:28

Ok 50% of people will get it but most in old age. You have to die of something. Most of the other half will die of heart disease are you worried about that?

More and more people get to an old age now which is a great thing smile

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Thu 14-Jan-16 17:45:01

People do seem to be dying earlier

Cancer charities are always shouting for more donations but seem to be getting nowhere

Titsywoo Thu 14-Jan-16 17:45:28

The rates of people getting cancer at a young age are still pretty low - no higher than they were 40 years ago for example. There are just more old people so it is more common.

Titsywoo Thu 14-Jan-16 17:46:46

scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/02/04/why-are-cancer-rates-increasing/

watchingthebox Thu 14-Jan-16 17:47:33

scarlett I am sorry to hear about your dad flowers ....I am the same, i panic if i ever have any kind of symptoms at all that could be linked to you know what blush ....i have a mole (which has been checked a few times and deemed to be fine) but have thought about having it removed anyway so i dont worry about it. if i get a mouth ulcer i panic till it goes, if my boobs ever hurt i panic, belly aches, i could go on and on. its ridiculous. on sertraline too for general anxiety but no idea if it actually helps

I sometimes don't think the heavy advertising for macmillan . cancer research etc really helps matters. although they have to advertise obviously to raise money and awareness.

Godstopper Thu 14-Jan-16 17:48:50

Well, my lifetime risk for a type of neuroendocrine cancer is 95% (genetic mutation, points to anyone who has heard of SDHB-related paraganglioma). As far as I'm concerned, it's zero until it happens. Worry more likely to be a trigger, no point!

watchingthebox Thu 14-Jan-16 17:50:07

goodnight that must be worrying...hopefully you wont get it but I too hope for better treatments in years to come

tistywoo thanks very much, will read that link. weird thing is I am not scared of heart disease etc although based on those stats I should be!

Titsywoo Thu 14-Jan-16 17:52:26

It because cancer is (without being crass) shoved in your face constantly. Which is fair enough as they want to raise awareness and money. But it makes you worry about it. Ignorance is bliss sometimes wink

watchingthebox Thu 14-Jan-16 17:52:29

godstopper that is a really good way of looking at it!

but omg don't tell me worrying can trigger it, I am a born worrier and literally have been since I was a child so if it is that's deffo me fucked 100% then grin

PoppySeedRoll Thu 14-Jan-16 17:53:02

I had it two years ago and found out when undergoing surgery. They thought it was pre cancerous but it was further on. I was very lucky. It changed everything for me, I am so much better at saying no to things, I put myself first more often and I try new things more often. I am very aware that it might come back but it's not going to spoil my fun in the meantime.

KurriKurri Thu 14-Jan-16 17:54:00

You can't live your life worrying about what may or may not happen. Cancer is a very common disease(as is heart disease and other stuff)

It is not necessarily more common now. Many of my elderly relatives died of cancer - some I had no idea that they'd had cancer. When my Grandad had lung cancer his family were told not to tell him, so presumably he didn't even know. Attitudes to how you deal with talking to cancer patients have changed.

More people are diagnosed earlier because we have diagnostic techniques that weren't previously available and new treatments that allow people to live longer if not be cured.

People live longer now than they used to so yes - there are more reports of cancer (as well as things like dementia) in earlier times people would have died of something that is now curable, so they live long enough for other diseases to take them.

People didn't talk about cancer - it was actually considered rather shameful to talk about and mention - probably because it was seen as an instant death sentence. It's not necessarily a death sentence now.

You cannot live your life in fear. You can look after yourself as best you can, you can get to know your own body as thoroughly as possible so that any changes you get yourself to the doc and don't mess about wondering and prevaricating, get tests,tell your doctor you are worried that you may have X Y or Z disease. Lots of illnesses are indiscriminate, no one deserves to get a deadly disease.

I've had cancer. Chances are relatively high it will return - that's shit, but I can't spend every moment of my life thinking about it because I want to be living not fearing dying. I might go out in the car tomorrow, and have a fatal crash - but I might not, I'mnot devoting any time to thinking about this possibility because it won't change anything. Worrying doesn't stop stuff happening, being proactive and aware of your own health mean that if you do get cancer you give yourself and the treatment a chance by catching it earlier.

boopsy Thu 14-Jan-16 17:54:21

Its horrible. Its a good thing that diagnosis etc has improved but in the old days people just died of 'consumption' probably TB in most cases but im sure some were probably undiagnosed cancer cases. In a weird way i think ignorance is bliss and its the treatments etc which scare me too as well as the knowledge and worry that i have it or if cured it might come back.

Sansoora Thu 14-Jan-16 17:58:51

Me too Op. Im understand just where you are coming from.

mamalovebird Thu 14-Jan-16 17:58:58

Remember though, Lemmy was a heavy drinker and I read somewhere thay Bowie was a heavy smoker. These things contribute significantly to getting cancer. I don't know about Alan Rickman.

My dad was a heavy smoker and drinker and died of cancer at 59. He also ignored it for a long time so by the time he was hospitalised, it was too late.

Dh's mum recently had breast cancer but got it detected and therefore treated early and she has been in remission for 5 years.

DH's uncle has recently also had a rare form of cancer and had a pioneering operation to cure it. We don't know if it worked yet (he only had it on xmas eve) but the surgeons commented on his previous healthy lifestyle contributing to his post-op recovery so far.

Sorry, I've started rambling a bit but my point originally was, that is you look after yourself you put yourself in a better position and also early detection helps a lot.

hazeyjane Thu 14-Jan-16 17:59:04

I too am shit scared of getting cancer, and know that my chances of contracting certain cancers are higher because I have had cancer previously (13 years ago). My gp is thankfully very understanding, so if I sit in her office in a state of frozen panic about a lump or a pain, she takes me seriously and treats me gently.

I have lost friends and friends have lost their children to this shitty disease, and I know that I was very lucky to get a cancer which is very curable.

The other day an advert came on for a cancer charity, and dd2 (8) started crying saying she was scared of us getting cancer, and scared of brain tumours (a child in their class died as the result of a very aggressive brain tumour last year).

It put me in a dilemna - I have never told my dcs about the cancer I had.

Now I wonder whether I should tell them, and let them know that not all cancers are as aggressive and that some of them are curable. I don't want to diminish the awful reality that is cancer, but at the same time I don't want them to grow up with this idea of cancer as some Voldemort like villian.

shebird Thu 14-Jan-16 18:05:49

I'm also terrified OP due to the recent news and also because 2 friends have been diagnosed recently. I think we are all more aware of things as we get older. The invincibility we feel when we are young disappears.

watchingthebox Thu 14-Jan-16 18:10:01

shebird definitely re feeling invincible when you are young....I am 36 so not THAT young grin but its definitely only recently I have stopped feeling invincible

thanks for all the replies

and flowers for those who have dealt with it, your attitudes are remarkable x

Princesitalinda Thu 14-Jan-16 18:13:13

Recommended: Anita Moorjani's book 'Dying to be me'. She has an inspirational story about her journey with cancer.

notenoughbottle Thu 14-Jan-16 18:15:21

Watching I am about to have counselling and CBT for the same reason (and others). It doesn't help that my dad has recently been diagnosed with cancer and I was seen by breast clinic before Christmas which thankfully gave me the all clear. People tell me not to google etc but in my mind I'm just educating myself on the symptoms etc. I've always suffered with anxiety which I think has begun to manifest itself physically, but this was made worse last year when I put one of the results of my sons blood tests put into Google and came up with leukaemia. Of course it isn't that but I made myself quite ill for a week worrying about it. I check my children several times a night which results in me never having a full nights sleep either. Im going back to the dr's next week (not that I'm there often, maybe a handful of times a year) but my dads diagnosis hasn't helped my anxiety and he is going for an op next week which will make me worse. I can't offer any advice but you're not on you're own and this is a real problem for me.

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