Fear of Recurrence

One of the most common feelings reported by survivors is the fear that their cancer will return. It can interfere with every aspect of life—eating, sleeping, working, playing. It can be triggered by reminders such as follow-up visits, birthdays, someone else’s diagnosis, an ache in your body or a bump on your skin.

Tips for coping with the fear of recurrence
  • Learn the signs of recurrence for your type of cancer—be informed
  • Keep up with any medical tests or appointments your doctor recommends
  • Talk about it—express your feelings
  • You do not have to be upbeat all the time, but look for the positive
  • Be Patient Active—take control of what you can, make a plan, know what you cannot control


Learn about recurrence and make a plan for the future. Your doctor and other members of your health care team are a good starting place for information. When you have questions, write them down and bring them to your office visits. The Internet offers abundant information, but not all information online is accurate. At the end of each workbook session are lists of reliable sources for health and medical information.

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