How To Stop Worrying About Getting Cancer
Do you ever worry about getting cancer? Cancer is an extremely serious disease, but worrying about it is completely counter productive. Worry, of course, does not cause cancer. However, worry can harm your health and drain your energy.
Rather than worrying about getting cancer, you need to focus on living a healthy lifestyle. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, 35 percent of all cancer cases could be prevented with lifestyle changes. A healthy lifestyle includes regular exercise and a diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, along with regular medical check-ups. Taking these steps will reduce your chances of getting cancer. Making healthy choices on a daily basis is something you can control.
Sometimes, the solution to worry is to do research on the likelihood of the event coming about. According to the American Cancer Society, 1.4 million Americans were diagnosed with invasive cancer in 2008. Statistically, if you live in the United States, your odds of being diagnosed with invasive cancer in the next year are less than one half of one percent.
In the unlikely event that you did get cancer, you would go through treatment and most likely survive. Thanks to earlier detection and advances in medical treatments, the survival rates of different types of cancers are continuing to dramatically improve. For example, 89 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer are living at least five years.
Having cancer would be very challenging, frightening and physically painful. However, you would also learn important life lessons. Recently, USA Today, The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a survey of cancer survivors. According to the survey, nearly two out of three cancer survivors and their families say that something good has come out of the experience. It is not that they were glad they got cancer, but they stated that the experience altered their outlook on their life for the better.
Many of the cancer survivors reported that their experience was a wake-up call which caused them to reorder their priorities. They discovered what was truly important in life. They learned to put their family ahead of their work and to devote more time to their significant relationships.
Of course, even with a healthy lifestyle, you can’t guarantee that you won’t get cancer. Like many things in life, it is something that you can’t control with total certainty. In situations like this, I find it very helpful to pray the “Serenity Prayer” that was written by Rev. Reinhold Neibuhr many years ago:
God, grant me the serenity to
accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.