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Home News and Update Year 2010 Cancer Phobia Is The Name For Carcinogenic Awareness

Cancer Phobia Is The Name For Carcinogenic Awareness

DNA India
13 September 2010
By Soumita Majumdar
Bangalore, India

Everything in Nishita Sampath’s life seemed perfect – a good job, a great family and a set of best buddies to hang out with. However, life could have been better, only if she could do away with her fear of getting cancer.

At 33, Nishita lives every moment fearing an encounter with the disease. Hers is not a rare case. Experts said that with increasing awareness about various diseases and their symptoms, a growing number of people were developing phobia against several diseases among which cancer ranked the highest.

"Of late, phobia to diseases, including cardiac complications, AIDS and cancer, has increased. One of the reasons for this is the increasing awareness of these diseases," said Dr MJ Thomas, consultant psychiatrist,Sagar Hospital.

However, the problem starts when the person is not convinced by the doctor’s opinion that he is not afflicted with any disease. He keeps on consulting more doctors. In such cases, treatment with medicine and counseling is necessary. However, most such cases can be treated within three months.

It is a similar situation with Nishita. "I used to read articles related to cancer and then feel that I was showing symptoms related to the disease. I used to consult doctors," she said. Now, under treatment for phobia, Nishita is doing better. While phobia to cancer can happen to anyone, doctors were mostly seeing such cases in the under–40 age group and more so in women than men.

People tend to associate cancer with death and suffering. Cancer was curable and there were plenty of success stories, but not many were aware of it, said Dr Deepak Shah, director, Sattvam Homeopathy Clinic. "Homeopathy has specific drugs to treat the fear of cancer," he added.

Yoga therapy offers a perfect solution to such phobia. "Over the last three years, I have seen several patients who are cancer phobic. Most of them are well educated, aware and between 30 and 45 years of age. The reason behind the irrational fear of cancer is psychosomatic and can be healed with breathing techniques and a few exercises to de–stress and detoxify the body," said Sheetal Shah, a yoga therapist. Fifteen minutes of breathing exercise daily can work wonders.

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