Fear Of Cancer (Carcinophobia): Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Advice

Fear of cancer, also known as carcinophobia, is an anxiety disorder characterized by a chronic fear of developing cancer. It can manifest itself in tremendous feelings of sadness, fear, panic, and anguish. In some cases, the phobia can be so extreme that it prevents the individual from leading an everyday life. It is the most common type of health-related phobia.

The incidence of carcinophobia was down compared to a couple of decades ago when knowledge about cancer and its treatment was quite limited. Many men and women worldwide suffer from extreme forms of this social anxiety phobia.

Many of us fear the deadly diseases prevalent today, especially those like cancer. In most cases, however, such fear is rational and even normal to some extent. But in people with extreme fear of cancer, the condition puts them into a perpetual panic that can affect their daily functioning or activities. Carcinophobia can also lead to Agoraphobia, in which the person refuses to leave their home for fear of getting cancer.

You can also read Fear Of Falls: Types, Factors, Discomfort, Treatment.


Signs and symptoms

  • People living with carcinophobia often suffer from depression. Those who suffer can become lonely and obsessive about their health.
  • They may feel overwhelmed and fail to perform their regular duties.
  • Fear is associated with a lack of future planning and a poor quality of life in general.

Physical symptoms include:

  • Shaking or shaking
  • Sweating,
  • Experiencing rapid heartbeat,
  • I am feeling dizzy or dizzy.
  • Fainting, rapid breathing, l
  • Crying or screaming


Typical causes of carcinophobia include a brush with the disease; a patient may have had a biopsy or seen a close relative/friend suffer or die from it.

  • Cancer survivors are also susceptible to developing a debilitating fear of recurrence due to their previous experience with the disease.
  • Half of all cancer survivors report a moderate to high fear of recurrence.
  • Most phobics also ‘learn’ to unconsciously mimic people’s reactions to cancer.
  • The media, movies, stories, etc. Cancer-related can also instill a deep fear that can border on phobia.
  • Children may perceive their parents ‘and grandparents fear of cancer or their reactions to the disease.


  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is used for many fears and phobias, including carcinophobia.
  • It helps patients increase awareness of their disorder and provides them with ways to deal with their emotions.
  • There are many treatment options to overcome the fear of cancer phobia.
  • To treat anxiety and depression, psychotherapists often prescribe tranquilizers or antidepressants.
  • Apart from these, talk therapy and group therapy sessions are also very effective in helping to cope with carcinophobia.
  • It has been shown to show long-term results, and it is also non-invasive and safe.
  • NLP or Neuro-Linguistic Programming therapy is another modern method of treating many types of phobias.
  • This therapy helps reprogram the unconscious mind to alter the thought process so that one relearns not to fear cancer.

Additional Information

  • The mildest physical symptoms like a cough or headache are enough to quickly send them to your healthcare provider to make sure all is well with them.
  • In some cases, people have spent large sums of money seeing a purple on the skin without confirming the disease, so it is recommended to go to the doctor to make the diagnosis and then start the respective treatments.
  • People with a fear of cancer phobia also tend to worry a lot, particularly about their spouses or children, who will take care of them if they contract the disease.
  • Carcinophobics go to great lengths to avoid cancer, often complaining about what they eat or the products they use.
  • They tend to avoid all activities or social events if they feel carcinogens are involved.
  • Carcinophobia is a nasty phobia that can be treated.
  • Those who live with it know how it can hurt their daily lives.
  • However, with treatment options such as hypnotherapy or NLP, they can be overcome to regain control over their lives and happiness.

Georgia Tarrant
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Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.