Beyond Cancer Podcast – Episode #2: Fear and ‘Scanxiety’

For otherwise healthy individuals, a CT scan or an MRI is an uncommon event. But for cancer survivors like Jeremy Pivor, it’s a routine part of life. So too is the anxiety that often accompanies each test – often referred to as “scanxiety.”

madagascar, brain tumor
Jeremy traveling in Madagascar.

Diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 12, Pivor navigated his way through the fear of relapse throughout his teen years, and confronted it head on when he found out at age 23 that his cancer was back. That relapse brought an even greater significance to each scan. And while he’s used to the process, the scanxiety is real. “You’re in this constant tug of war between trying not to think about it, and having it consume you,” Pivor says.

For Danielle Ameden, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, the emotional challenges also include the fear that any potential symptom might be a sign that the disease has returned. “As much as you try to put it out of your head, there’s always reminders out there that the cancer may come back,” Ameden says.

Hear Danielle and Jeremy’s story, and how they manage their fear and scanxiety by listening to the podcast episode below or click “download” to listen later. Subscribe options are also available via iTunes, Google Play, the Stitcher app, TuneIn app, and RSS.

The Beyond Cancer podcast series features cancer survivors sharing how they’ve navigated the physical side effects, emotional challenges, and different dynamics of life during and after cancer treatment. Visit the Beyond Cancer page for more episodes and Dana-Farber’s podcast page for more information on other cancer podcast series.