Ever heard of scanxiety? It describes the fear and anxiety that can set in leading up to a scan or other test. Do you get scanxiety for PSA tests, scans, or other tests? How do you deal with it?
Diane Talbert Moderator
I talked to my father about this. He said he would recommend getting plenty of sleep and proper nutrition and exercise regularly. He also said it was good to have a good support system to have someone go to appointments with you.
At diagnosis my PSA was incredibly elevated and I was stage 4. For the first year every scan and lab showed chemo and ADT were working, so I never felt any scanxiety. Now I’m approaching my one year “canserversary” and it’s certainly triggering some emotions, especially since my PSA has gone up the last two checkups. My next appointment is one year to the day to when I received my initial PSA result of 5,306. So yes, I am somewhat anxious about my next appointment coming up in a week. My support group has been great place for talking through all of this. Knowing I’m not alone and being with others who have gone through the same thing has been so helpful. Having a medical team I completely trust is very, very reassuring. I can email or call my oncologist between appointments with questions and concerns and hearing back from her, sometimes within an hour or so, has also been wonderful. And another important member of my team is my onco-psychologist who keeps me grounded. She’s been there through my darkest days. I do what I can do - exercise, relaxation/meditation, healthy diet calms my body and my mind. That gives me some sense that I have some control, which is also reassuring. It’s a cliche, but I just have to go day by day and appreciate all that I wake up to.
Richard Faust Admin
Hey Doug. I think a certain level of "scanxiety" is understandable in your case, but it also sounds like you have built a support system and put a plan in place to deal with it as best as possible. Thanks for writing because what you lay out can certainly be a schematic for others to follow. For everyone out there this article on how to cope with fears of recurrence may be helpful: https://prostatecancer.net/living-coping/recurrence-concern/. Best, Richard (ProstateCancer.net Team)
Thanks for the connect and sharing the link. This all such a learning experience. Had my labs today so just have to wait until Monday too see my oncologist to get results and discuss any treatment changes, if any. The underlying anxiety is there, but I’ll make it to Monday just fine. Today I’m going to my favorite coffee shop for a coffee and the dessert of my choice. (They’re a bakery too.) Today I’m going to celebrate living!