It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Anxiety Message Board


Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-07-2004, 06:08 AM   #1
Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: AR
Posts: 72
curt34 HB User
Can worry and stress cause cancer?

I'm going through a difficult time. My stomach has been giving me some problems and I automatically think the worst. My doc has referred me to a Gastroenterologist for an upper GI and I'm petrified as to what they might find. My wife is doesn't understand why I'm worrying so much and said that she's worried I'm going to give myself cancer if I don't stop worrying about it. Of course I'm more freaked now than ever!! I wish she had never said that....now I'm scared I'm going to give myself a terrible disease. Any help? I do suffer from OCD and this fear is a recurrent problem for me.

 
Old 10-07-2004, 07:02 AM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: MA
Posts: 72
angel1064 HB User
Re: Can worry and stress cause cancer?

no!!! you cannot 'give' yourself cancer

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 10-07-2004, 07:06 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 33
Lisa-Jane HB User
Re: Can worry and stress cause cancer?

Hi Curt34,

No worrying about an appointment or worrying generally won't give you cancer. Worry and anxiety can make you tummy play up (acid, IBS etc) but nothing serious like cancer. I know where you're coming from though I have completely irrational fears about my health too and my husband doesn't understand. He always says don't worry about something until it's happened - easier said than done! I currently have stomach problems too which are most likely anxiety related.
Good luck with the appt, you'll be fine and relieved when it's done and you're reassured.

Take-care,

lisa-jane

Last edited by Lisa-Jane; 10-07-2004 at 07:07 AM.

 
Old 10-07-2004, 10:47 AM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 37
weight39 HB User
Re: Can worry and stress cause cancer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by curt34
I'm going through a difficult time. My stomach has been giving me some problems and I automatically think the worst. My doc has referred me to a Gastroenterologist for an upper GI and I'm petrified as to what they might find. My wife is doesn't understand why I'm worrying so much and said that she's worried I'm going to give myself cancer if I don't stop worrying about it. Of course I'm more freaked now than ever!! I wish she had never said that....now I'm scared I'm going to give myself a terrible disease. Any help? I do suffer from OCD and this fear is a recurrent problem for me.

Anxiety can cause digestive problems. My story may help you feel a little better. It's a pathetic tale, but I'll share it.

I had upper gi series performed in March. Because of my curious nature, I researched the procedure. Learning that the barium may cause constipation, I strained and strained. Convinced the barium had not passed, I had an x-ray done to confirm it's passing.

In June I was having major heartburn and foolishly had another upper gi done. I've been a basket case ever since. These tests were all unnecessary. I'm ashamed and a little frightened. The fear comes from the unnecessary radiation I've been exposed to. At 29, I can say this has been the worse year of my life.

But, it's doubtful that worring in and of itself will cause cancer. The stress it puts on your body may be a very small contributing factor.

I wish I would have found this board months ago. Because, I'm quite certain the majority of problems I had were caused from anxiety.

Hope this helps.
__________________
29 year old male

Last edited by weight39; 10-07-2004 at 10:53 AM.

 
Old 10-07-2004, 11:26 AM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 40
TWISTED II HB User
Re: Can worry and stress cause cancer?

haha, i did the same thing. i had an upper GI last week, and freaked out cuz i didn't think it passed. i was drinking water like crazy, and i ended up taking laxatives to make sure everything was moving along at a good speed. so funny how the mind works. oddly enough, my mom told me the other day "your gonna end up making yourself sick if you worry this much." now, like you, i am worrying more, because i'm worried about worrying too much. crazy isn't it?

 
Old 10-07-2004, 07:38 PM   #6
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 81
looksee1 HB User
Re: Can worry and stress cause cancer?

So funny! My husband told me a couple of years ago that I would give myself cancer from worrying too! That really made me mad. I was worried that I would get breast cancer because I am 35, it runs in my family, and I haven't had any biological kids - not such an irrational thought!

Any way, since then, I have really come so very far in how I think about things. I might even pass for a non-worrier now (although it's a bit like being an alcoholic, you are always a "recovering worrier"). How did I do it? I began a relationship with God through a simple gratitute practice (thank God every night for 3 things), I went to a really excellent therapist for a year and a half who challenged my general habit of assuming as FACT the absolute worst case scenario, I started practicing yoga (not just the physical kind, but I read a LOT of books on yoga philosophy), and I came to accept that I AM going to die of something eventually and what is important is to love and live this life completely while I am here. My life is so much better now. You can do it too. Really, you can. Maybe you won't try all the things that I did, maybe your help will come from different things, but try a multi-faceted approach that is spiritual, physical and mental.

And to answer your question about whether stress causes cancer: stress can contribute to many physical problems, maybe even cancer, BUT you cannot change the past. What we do know about the human body is its amazing ability to heal itself if given half the chance. Learn how to cultivate health in your body. Eat healthy (7 fruits and veggies a day), drink green tea, exercise every day, don't smoke, don't drink, see the beautiful changes in your body. Celebrate how you are nurturing it. Trust it to heal itself. Everyone has abused their body in some way in their lifetimes and most of them do NOT get cancer. Protect your body now and focus on the present. Believe. Hope. Live. Trust. You can do it.

 
Old 10-08-2004, 12:49 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 40
TWISTED II HB User
Re: Can worry and stress cause cancer?

looksee1, i hope i can follow in your footsteps. it sounds like we suffer, or i suffer from the same thing you did. every detail sounds like what i am going through. i'm gonna try to get my life goin here. get busy living, or get busy dying right? haha. i've wasted enough time with worry and fear, its really time to push this aside and get busy livin. look forward to more of your posts on dealing with your old problems. i think they would help me alot.

 
Old 10-08-2004, 05:19 AM   #8
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 81
looksee1 HB User
Re: Can worry and stress cause cancer?

Twisted II: I'm so glad you got the spark of motivation. You can do this. Let me tell you some more differences between old me and new me, you might see even more of yourself and find more hope!

Old me: Every year, my anxiety and stress manifested itself in a different aspect of my physical life. First, I had severe stomach pains and acid in my stomach, another year, I had terrible pain and tightness in my chest, another it was wierd headaches, and last it was excrutiating insomnia and a fear of plain out dying. I went further and further inside my fear until it permeated my every waking moment. Naturally, it drove me to have all kinds of irradiating diagnostic tests, which only worried me and enraged me further. Now I had given myself cancer, I thought. How ironic!

New me: I'm not all pefect now. BUT: I take very good care of myself and I feel great. I eat right and exercise every day. And, surprise, surprise, my body feels very good. Really good. Who knew? When you eat 7 fruits and vegetables every day, and drink water (I only drink 6 glasses, it's less overwhelming a task), your body just functions better. You feel a physical difference in a very short period of time, say a week or two. Your body is perfectly well equiped to flush out toxins and heal itself if you give it half a chance. And by the way, if you go crazy and eat pizza and chocolate milk shakes one night, don't sweat it. It means nothing. Begin again, and again and again. Every day God gives us a brand new, clean, mistake-free day.

For exercise, I bought a treadmill. I put it directly in front of my TV. I turn on the TV and walk 40 minutes every morning, no matter how badly I slept! 5 minute warmup, 30 minute walk, 5 minute slowdown. The only thing that varies is the pace, depending on how I feel physically. If I feel like ****, I walk slowly. I nuture myself that way.

Sleep: I take ambien (very carefully) like this. I take it to break a pattern, NOT to escape troubles. I take 10 mg each night for three nights in a row. I read a good book or magazine (usually a positive living magazine like Yoga Journal, Natural Health, etc.) until I fall asleep. I do NOT sit there waiting for it to work magically. Then, I take 7.5 mgs for 2 days. Then I take 5 mgs for 2 days, then I take 2.5 mgs for 2 days. (Yes, I cut the pills in half). The next night might be a bit harder to sleep, but then, I sleep fine.

God: I pray twice a day. It's a simple prayer: God, thank you for X, Y and Z. Please take care of these three people whom I love. Please take care of me too, specifically, X, Y, and Z. You are all powerful and can heal anyone. This problem is too big for me. Heal me.

Yoga: something mental happens when you stretch your body well. And yoga philospophy teaches you how to let go. Letting go of that chokehold we have on life is key. The tighter you hold on, the more you suffocate yourself. Take a chance, and let go. Try this funky breathing exercise: On a long inhale, say the word "sooooooo" in your mind. On an exhale, say "hummmmmmm". Sounds wierd, try it anyway. Go to a dedicated yoga studio, not just a health club.

I'll check back in on you in a bit. I'm actually leaving for a yoga retreat in a couple of hours and I have to get packed. Start your new life!

 
Old 10-08-2004, 06:10 AM   #9
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 81
looksee1 HB User
Re: Can worry and stress cause cancer?

PS: I forgot to say, get a good shrink, one who can help you reprogram your thought process from, say, "Oh my God, what is that? It's cancer, I know it is, or if it isn't, it's about to be, it's an early sign, what is wrong with me? Why me? I feel so sick, I can't remember what it feels like to be well, I'm going to die, no one suffers like me, I feel palpitations, I'm dizzy, I can't get out of bed, I'm not hungry. I'm just going to fade away like this. I hate my life. It is ruined. It will never get better."

TO "What is that? If it persists, I should check it out. Maybe it's nothing serious, I think I'll take extra good care of myself today. Let me get myself a good breakfast and take a walk, that will help me feel better, no matter what the problem. See, now that I've done that, I feel a lot better, it's not as bad as I thought. In fact, I didn't really notice that pain while I was walking, so it's probably nothing serious, but I'll keep an eye on it and make an appointment if I don't feel better by X. Until X, though, I'm going to focus on getting some rest. I think I'll call my friend and ask him/her if she wants to get together. I need to focus my mind on positive things."

Good luck.

 
Old 10-08-2004, 06:15 AM   #10
Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: AR
Posts: 72
curt34 HB User
Re: Can worry and stress cause cancer?

Looksee1,

I am a Christian and I agree that God can heal you if you have faith in His ability. I have tried to give this problem to Him to deal with but I seem to always fall back into intense worry about having some terminal illness. I'm going through another one of my bad bad periods right now. I'm scared of having something terrible. I have a doctors appointment for an upper GI in a week and a half and i'm terrified. I know the likelyhood of me having anything serious is minimal. Instead of looking at the 99% probabilty that I'm fine I obsess over the 1% probability that something is wrong. It's a dreadful problem and It's wearing me out.
My wife told me that she's scared that if I don't stop worrying about having something terrible I'll actually give it to myself. I thought that was a little harsh, but it scared the crap out of me. Now I'm more worried than ever. Thank you for your post. I am striving to get to where you are. It's uplifting to know someone that has been able to overcome.

 
Old 10-08-2004, 06:26 AM   #11
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 81
looksee1 HB User
Re: Can worry and stress cause cancer?

Curt34, yes, yes, yes, you can. For sure. Try to get started on the above. Don't think you have time? Sure you do. If you are anything like I was, you spend a ton of time every day on worrying, so spend that time on rebuilding your life today. The past is the past. It's over. Finite. Gone. Done. Today: Brand new day. And have patience. OK, folks! I'm off.

 
Old 10-08-2004, 06:45 AM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 40
TWISTED II HB User
Re: Can worry and stress cause cancer?

its gonna take a lot for me to feel something weird, and not get obsessed about it being a deadly disease. i did suffer from bad panic attacks....but i got hypnotized over a year ago, and have not had a single one since. so, the panic is gone....but i'm still dealing with this constant worry. i'm so thankful i don't have panic anymore, but worrying is so exhausting. i'm just tired of worrying. the difference now is that, i don't run to the ER as soon as i feel something weird. now i can kinda chill with it for a while, but i'm still freaking out in my head. i just don't physically freak out and run around and go to the ER. i do have to be thankful for getting over my anxiety.....but now....the worry.

 
Old 10-08-2004, 09:21 AM   #13
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 37
weight39 HB User
Re: Can worry and stress cause cancer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by looksee1
Old me: Every year, my anxiety and stress manifested itself in a different aspect of my physical life. First, I had severe stomach pains and acid in my stomach, another year, I had terrible pain and tightness in my chest, another it was wierd headaches, and last it was excrutiating insomnia and a fear of plain out dying. I went further and further inside my fear until it permeated my every waking moment. Naturally, it drove me to have all kinds of irradiating diagnostic tests, which only worried me and enraged me further. Now I had given myself cancer, I thought. How ironic!
Wow! For a second, I thought I wrote that. This, pretty much, sums of up what I've been going through.
__________________
29 year old male

 
Old 10-23-2004, 03:50 PM   #14
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 37
weight39 HB User
Re: Can worry and stress cause cancer?

Curt34, how'd your test go? Did you have the endoscopy or barium swallow?
__________________
29 year old male

 
Old 10-24-2004, 04:58 PM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 90
Natasha1981 HB User
Re: Can worry and stress cause cancer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by curt34
I'm going through a difficult time. My stomach has been giving me some problems and I automatically think the worst. My doc has referred me to a Gastroenterologist for an upper GI and I'm petrified as to what they might find. My wife is doesn't understand why I'm worrying so much and said that she's worried I'm going to give myself cancer if I don't stop worrying about it. Of course I'm more freaked now than ever!! I wish she had never said that....now I'm scared I'm going to give myself a terrible disease. Any help? I do suffer from OCD and this fear is a recurrent problem for me.
Ah, the last thing you need are anymore fears! Anxiety does not CAUSE cancer, but adrenaline surpresses your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness and infection.

I'm willing to bet that your Gastroenterologist won't find anything serious. Earlier this year I was having severe problems with nausea, and being the hypochondriac I am, freaked out about it. I had an endoscopy which found a VERY small ulcer, but that's because I abused advil to no end. And that's the worst case scenerio.

Chances of a young, healthy individual getting stomach cancer is very very slim.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Most people here have stress problem. sico Heart Disorders 11 04-27-2010 11:44 AM
Colon Cancer confirmed - Surgery Questions weezee62 Cancer: Colon 3 04-26-2010 11:40 AM
i am so worry. tommy45 Cancer: Prostate 8 02-20-2009 04:04 PM
Really starting to worry geezgeez Cancer 8 05-30-2008 01:23 PM
Prolonged Period, Heavy, Clots, Cancer worry :( Perfume77 Women's Health 6 03-09-2006 11:38 PM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added




Top 10 Drugs Discussed on this Board.
(Go to DrugTalk.com for complete list)
Ativan
Celexa Effexor
Klonopin
Lexapro
  Paxil
Prozac
Valium
Xanax
Zoloft




TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



ms_mod (56), Foxxii (26), d0ink (25), Frank Furter (16), Jagraal (15), Shae794 (9), iluv (9), Skip4 (9), solofelix (8), slenderella (8)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1180), MSJayhawk (1009), Apollo123 (909), Titchou (856), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (760), ladybud (755), midwest1 (669), sammy64 (668), BlueSkies14 (607)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:29 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!