“Scanxiety” and a fear that cancer will return are common among people who have metastatic lung cancer. But visualization, positive thinking, mantras, and other techniques can help offset negative thoughts and emotions.
Is the cancer back? This is one fear that many people who’ve undergone treatment for cancer can relate to, in part because they often need to have regularly scheduled follow-up visits and tests, such as imaging scans, to monitor their recovery. Depending on someone’s risk of cancer recurrence, scans may need to be done four to eight times a year, according to an article published in May 2021 in the journal Cancer Medicine.
Lila Margulies, a Brooklyn, New York–based mother of two who was treated for metastatic lung cancer, has experienced this same anxiety firsthand. Throughout her journey, she found that using visualization techniques, positive thinking, and mantras can help manage negative thoughts and emotions.
One particular type of distress that Margulies, among others, experienced is “scanxiety.” This is defined as scan-associated anxiety that can occur both before the scan and while waiting for the scan results, something that, according to the article in Cancer Medicine, has been linked to a significantly reduced quality of life.