Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

Why do I always think I've got cancer?

120 Answers
Last Updated: 07/12/2020 at 3:50pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Lauren Abasheva, LMHC

Licensed Professional Counselor

A sex positive, and kink knowledgeable therapist with an open mindset and a clear understanding that we are all different.

Top Rated Answers
endearingLion70
January 4th, 2018 1:40pm
It is not unusual to think that you are very sick whenever you feel physically bad. There is a lot of talk, maybe too much, about cancer in the media so it is pretty obvious that whenever we feel sick our mind goes there. The only way to find out is to see a doctor
Stormbending
January 21st, 2018 5:18pm
It sounds like you have a deep fear of having cancer, which is a perfectly rational fear to have! However, if you are actively avoiding things that have been scientifically proven to give you cancer (EG; smoking), then there is no rationality to your thinking. If you feel you have a physical condition that requires medical attention, please do speak to your GP. Do not feel you are wasting their time - they are there to help and put your mind at rest!
JulietSivan
January 26th, 2018 12:34pm
Anxiety can cause bad thoughts, and different types of anxiety can lead to different types of negative thinking. For example, there’s social anxiety that is about fear of social interaction, fear of being judged and etc. or there’s panic disorder: bad thoughts in panic disorder are usually around health, or the fear of being unable to escape. However, I’d recommend to visit a professional therapist.
JJill1
February 8th, 2018 3:06pm
Well, we all overthink sometimes, it's a natural human instinct to analyze everything.. Try to have perspective though, there is a big chance you do not have cancer! Try not to stress about things you do not know about :) If you are really worried, see a doctor maybe! :)
Anonymous
March 16th, 2018 9:30pm
You might be scared because of a close friend or family member getting it or because of the fear that we see from the media. Cancer affects a lot of people and you could be more anxious about it because it's somethjng we see a lot.
Anonymous
March 30th, 2018 2:46pm
You might think that you have cancer because it might have gone through the family and you are worried that it will happen to you.
Anonymous
May 18th, 2018 8:44pm
Sometimes we feel as though we have something wrong with us, emotionally or physically. So-- sometimes we may physically think that we have cancer because mentally we are anxious or paranoid about something being wrong with us.
Anonymous
May 30th, 2018 1:03am
if you suspect you have cancer, consult a doctor.
Anonymous
May 30th, 2018 4:47pm
Believing you have serious illnesses is a type of mental disorder called hypochondria that is best treated by counseling with a psychotherapist trained in this field
love7788
July 1st, 2018 6:41pm
Anxiety and worries get the best of us sometimes. With worry, our mind jumps to our farthest fear before analyzing logic first. So, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with concern for the worst— it’s just a matter of taking a step back, asking yourself about reasons why you believe this, analyzing those reasons, and then comparing those with the fears in our minds.
Anonymous
July 7th, 2018 4:00pm
Cancer affects so many people- and it has so many different symptoms, it's easy to be paranoid about it.
Anonymous
July 25th, 2018 5:21pm
There's always that fear, since there is no known cure yet. Cancer is the first thought that comes to everyone's mind once they feel like something is wrong with their body, so it is thought about pretty frequently.
gaypotato235
August 1st, 2018 4:05pm
Do you have a family member who may have gotten it and know you think you will to? Or maybe you think it is so comin you will get it . If this is giving you anxiety maybe a doctors opinion may help clear you head.
Anonymous
August 9th, 2018 3:52pm
it might because you or any one in ur family might be suffering from or might have been the reason for someones passing
Anonymous
September 23rd, 2018 7:55pm
Health Anxiety can make us believe that we have bad things happening to our bodies. It can stem from social media or a story on the news. It's easy to believe that something is wrong with us when we're feeling anxious, or that we've noticed changes to the body or a headache lasting longer than usual. Talking with a doctor about these issues or someone you trust is the best way to combat these thoughts. Cancer is so widely publicised and experiencing a different ache or pain can be worrying so our minds automatically think of the worst possible scenario.
Anonymous
November 4th, 2018 6:07pm
It sounds like you are concerned about your health. The fear might be valid if you have been ill in the past, or especially if you have had cancer in the past. The best way to alleviate this fear is to have a check up with your doctor, including appropriate scans and tests. If the tests come back clear you will know without a doubt that you don't need to spend your energy worrying about it. Fear and worry can persist in an unresolved way if we don't pay attention to our needs. Emotions like Fear are our internal guidance system that tells us what we need, and how to take better care of ourselves. You can answer the call of your emotions by better understanding what you need, and how to appropriately meet that need. Take some time to evaluate whether or not you are "thinking" you have cancer, or if you are experiencing "fear" that you might have cancer.
empathicRiver85
November 10th, 2018 5:43am
With the internet, television, and all the other influencers that we see everyday it is easy to implant these intrusive thoughts into our minds. Unfortunately, we do see cancer being diagnosed more often, and this can also aid in the false belief. Researching "symptoms" (whether real or a product of anxiety) on the internet can only make your fear worse. You can Google a minor headache and it can connect it to brain cancer, but does that definitely mean you have it? Absolutely not. Because the internet isn't reliable. When you have these anxieties, mentally reasoning with them and working through the fear from a rational perspective helps me when I get these horrible thoughts too. :)
ethelp260
January 24th, 2019 11:01pm
You may be suffering from health anxiety. This is where a person experiences an excessive amount of anxiety surrounding their health to the point where it interferes with their daily life. There is often a trend in this type of anxiety where sufferers experience anxiety over certain particular health worries, these often include cancer, heart problems, tumours and stomach problems. Even if no physical signs or symptoms are present the sufferer is still convinced that they have a particular disease or illness and often worry they will pass away from it. Anxiety is a very physical disorder in that when people are anxious they often experience sweating, nausea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate etc. Health anxiety sufferers sometimes interpret this response to anxious feelings as symptoms of the disease they think they have. In my experience I found professional therapy very helpful with this!
Anonymous
February 15th, 2019 4:31am
I can definitely identify with trying to find an explanation for things going on in my body, even when that explanation is something scary like cancer. Take some deep breaths and talk with a doctor, and maybe a counselor, who can help you work through these feelings. Also, do your best to avoid googling your symptoms, this can compound the feelings you're having. Finally, do things that make you feel healthy, like eat an apple, exercise, and meditate. This can help you reassure yourself that you are doing everything possible to maintain your health.
KatieKittredge
June 29th, 2019 3:10pm
It sounds like you may be experiencing some anxiety about your health. I encourage you to go see your doctor if you are worried or have symptoms but it sounds like you are just anxious. There is a condition called hypochondria in which people believe that they are sick even when they show no symptoms. I believe it is based in anxiety or a fear of getting sick. This could be because they lost a family member to illness or a close friend. They could also have real symptoms but they are connected to something less serious then cancer.
SnowyCocoaEarth
August 7th, 2019 6:15pm
Anxiety tends to be the cause of thoughts like this. You could be a hypochondriac or maybe you have had people in your family diagnosed with cancer. Even something like a family member dying from cancer can cause issues like PTSD which could feed into unhealthy thoughts. Intrusive thoughts can affect us like that. I would recommend speaking to a professional about the issue. You can also visit a doctor for a checkup to allay any fears or doubts, Plus do not trust the internet, everything is cancer when you input symptoms and that can create further anxiety. In other words, you could fuelling your anxiety that you have cancer by perusing the internet instead of speaking to a doctor,
Anonymous
August 15th, 2019 11:21pm
The fear of the unknown can really eat us alive if we are not prudent.cancer is a disease with no identified cause or signs. It can anytime to any of us and end us rather quickly. It's the most dangerous of diseases. So, when we face any discomfort we can link it to cancer, especially if we are paranoid about it. Although it's 99% not true. We just have to accept the fact that we can't control everything. It's literally impossible. And practically useless. Cancer comes when we least expect it. It waits until it sucks us out of all power to start giving signs
Sealiously
February 2nd, 2020 8:28pm
Cancer shares the same symptoms as many of the common non-life threatening illnesses. I think nowadays it's super easy to just quickly jump to the conclusion that you have cancer, it's something that you hear quite a fair amount about regularly, not to mention it's all over the internet! What I've found helpful in the past is being able to take a step back, write down the symptoms you have on some paper and then think to yourself and write down what else it could be whether its the common cold, flu etc. Once you have done this, think about what is more likely out of your options based on percentage and make a pie chart.
Anonymous
March 13th, 2020 1:31pm
It's called a placebo effect,and it's more like a psychological problem rather than physical,it's literally impossible to say you have a cancer just by saying it,or even feeling it,if you suspect you have one,seek medical help to evaluate the problem first,rather than thinking that you are actually have a cancer.And if you are perfectly healthy,then there is no reason to think that do you have a health condition that needs immediate attention to it,it's better to seek therapist/psychiatrist advice if possible to evaluate the symptoms that it's making you feel like you have a cancer or any other health conditon.
TheCapn
March 18th, 2020 10:46am
Luckily, most of us are not overtly phobic about cancer even though it may be lurking deep in our subconscious. Why is it not an active fear for the bulk of the population? It is likely because in people without any signs of cancer, it is not perceived as an imminent threat. We are hard-wired to fear clear and present dangers. Risks and threats far into the future don’t get as much priority in our constellation of daily fears. Examples of this from our daily life abound. For example, one study found that most people are not willing to take urgent action on climate change if it is presented as a distant threat. But if portrayed as proximal in time and place, more people are willing to act with urgency.
blackMist3479
March 25th, 2020 7:41am
Have you heard of intrusive thoughts? I cannot diagnose you, of course, but such feelings could come from a lot of sources. Based on your ability to identify this as a thought rather than reality to me suggests that you are not talking about a delusion. However, hypochondria sometimes causes people to believe they are sick when they are not or blow minor medical situations out of proportion in ways that are very stressful and anxiety-inducing for the person experiencing it. For a hypochondriac, a minor headache may feel like a potential brain tumor. A skin tag is skin cancer, a stomach ache/indigestion could be from a parasite or stomach cancer or any number of other horrors you can read up on online. If you read WebMD a lot or overuse the multi-symptom checker, stop. That thing has scared many people unnecessarily.
Anonymous
April 16th, 2020 5:29pm
Perhaps you have health anxiety, specifically Illness Anxiety Disorder. Illness Anxiety Disorder means that you are often worried about having a serious medical condition. Health anxiety is somewhat common, especially in people who suffer from other forms of anxiety, and in people who watched loved ones suffer from severe illnesses. I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder as a child, and developed health anxiety as an adult. My specific health anxiety was based on heart health. I used to be terrified that I would die of sudden cardiac arrest. Heart problems run in my family - both parents and my sibling had their first heart attacks before age 45. Several members of my family members had several heart attacks. My mom dropped dead from cardiac arrest mid-sentence. The trouble with having anxiety about heart issues is that heart attacks and anxiety attacks can have similar symptoms. I fortunately don't really suffer from health anxiety too much anymore. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy really helped me. I learned how to examine my thoughts and what I believed to be "symptoms" and evaluate whether or not they were rational or not. It took me almost a year, and though it's been several years, I do still struggle. Another reason you might be worried about cancer is that cancer has many different symptoms, and some of those symptoms are actually just harmless and normal things. People have the tendency to use the internet to search for symptoms, and because there are so many symptoms that might possibly be cancer (but could just be gas, a pulled muscle, a tension headache, or the common cold for example), cancer is listed. Try not to worry. If you do have a family history or cancer and you have some significant symptoms, get checked out by your primary care doctor. Otherwise, try not to worry (I know that's easier said than done).
blackFlower7062
May 30th, 2020 7:11am
There is so many different speculations of how people can catch cancer. There is so many different types of cancer.It is an ultimate fear because of the long battle it becomes. It makes it difficult to pinpoint how someone can get cancer. There is so many conflicting ideas about the causes of cancer. Many of the symptoms of cancer are general and can be a variety of other conditions.More likely conditions than something as terrifying as cancer. The brain is a very complex and powerful thing.It can trick you into seeing things that aren't actually there to be seen.
Kellyishere
June 12th, 2020 3:21pm
Sometime's people think of the worst case scenarios that can happen to themselves, so they can 1) prepare for the worst, and 2) when it doesn't happen they will feel extra relieved. 1) Preparing for the worst - In the chance that it does happen, one can feel like they have control over the situation, and be mentally prepared saying to themselves 'I knew it was going to happen'. Having control can be a rewarding. 2) When it doesn't happen - here, you set the standards to the worst scenario, and when it doesn't happen, the standard bar can be increased by a little and still bring you joy.
benevolentBeauty413
July 12th, 2020 3:50pm
sound like you are really worried about your health. Sometimes I feel that way with my health as well. Do you have a lot of illnesses in your family? Is there something that your body is telling you that might make you feel that you might have cancer? Are there somethings you can do do possibly help you see it differently? It can be a very scary feeling and worrisome that you might have cancer. There is a lot of medical information out there that can lead it to believe we have something wrong with our bodies.