Medical imaging is part of life after cancer, but not surprisingly, it can be anxiety-provoking, so much so that there is a name for it: scanxiety. Although it is normal to experience some nervousness when you visit an imaging center in San Antonio for a body scan during your cancer recovery, there are several things you can do to ease your worry and make the process easier to manage.
Schedule a Follow-Up Appointment
Part of the anxiety that is associated with a scan is wondering when you are going to hear the results. Before you even attend your imaging center appointment, make an appointment with your doctor to review your scan results. You will feel more confident knowing that you have a plan to find out what your results are and that you know exactly when you will hear, instead of waiting for the phone to ring or checking your mail with baited breath every day. Your radiologist can also explain what happens to your scan after it is done and when your results should be ready so that it doesn’t seem like such a mystery.
Bring a Support System
When a scan is making you anxious, don’t suffer in silence. Whether you talk about your feelings with as many friends and family members as you can or just vent to one trusted person, let someone know how you are feeling. Bring a supportive loved one with you to your appointment, so you don’t have to face it alone. Consider making plans for after your appointment, such as getting lunch, going shopping, or going to the movies, so you have something to look forward to as a reward.
Ask for Help
For some people, getting a scan can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. Your oncologist knows how upsetting a scan can be and can offer help. He or she may be able to recommend support groups for cancer survivors and therapists who can help you manage your anxiety about having a scan.