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Upcoming scans have me panicking – how can I deal with my scanxiety?

Community Answers
  • Rosi
    12 months ago

    I suffer from this scanxiety as well. Am 3 years post surgery. I get the report the same day of the scan so I will know same time as doctor and prior to visit 2 days later.

  • Margot moderator
    12 months ago

    Thinking of you @Rosi thanks so much for sharing – it’s good that you can get the report the same day! Best, Margot, Team Member

  • Dusty Donaldson moderator
    2 years ago

    First, understand that we all share this phenomenon. Realizing that you are not alone in dealing with this anxiety can help. The level of scanxiety varies, depending factors such as how long it has been since your diagnosis, whether or not you have been experiencing new symptoms, or if the scan is to determine whether a new course of treatment is working. One way to significantly reduce scanxiety is to discuss it frankly with your oncologist. The first few years following my diagnosis, it was common practice for my scan to be done several days prior to my appointment with my oncologist. The time frame between when my scan was done and when I spoke to the oncologist was the most difficult for me. In recent years, however, I have seen a new trend. Doctors are becoming increasingly sensitive to their patients’ scanxiety and are accommodating them by having their scan and doctor appointment on the same day.

    Ask your oncologist if he/she can schedule your scan earlier on the day of your appointment with him/her. Make certain the scan can be read and the report shared with the oncologist prior to your appointment, though. Otherwise, you will still be dealing with the uncertainty of your scan report.

    Talk about it with others who understand. Whether you discuss it privately or on social media, most lung cancer survivors know exactly what you are going through and would love to offer their support!
    Another tip that may help is to use your provider’s patient portal. Most providers offer their patients this benefit. If you are not already set up on the patient portal, take the time now to register. It may take several days or even weeks for the site to be populated with your medical history. By planning ahead, when the time comes for your scan results to be available, you will be set up and familiar with the system.

    Try to think positively about the experience. Go to dinner the evening before a scheduled scan to mark the three-month, six-month or annual milestone since your last scan. If you are new to this, eventually, as the months turn into years, you will celebrate these milestones, especially annual scans, as “cancerversary” dates.

  • Margot moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi! Scanxiety is perfectly normal, so first, know you’re not alone! Research hasactually confirmed that scanxiety is real: It can be overwhelming, but there are strategies that may help you, such as trying to schedule your doctor visit immediately following your CT scan, preferably the same day, sharing your scan day with others who understand and face the same challenges, practicing relaxation techniques, such as focused breathing or meditation, and taking care of yourself by going for a walk, eating well, and trying to get a good night’s sleep. More techniques can be found here:

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