Controlling Fear of Cancer Recurrence with the "3 Ds"

Fear of cancer recurrence is the worry that cancer will return or spread in the same place or another part of the body.

This fear is extremely common — over half of all cancer survivors report having this feeling — especially during times of uncertainty, including between appointments or awaiting test results.

While this fear might feel out of your control, there are things you can do like the “3 Ds.”

Delay: Hold off worrying or thinking about the situation causing fear. For example, if you have an upcoming appointment, commit to not worrying about a recurrence until meeting with your doctor.

Distract: Choose a healthy way to get your mind off things, including calling or hanging out with a friend, reading a book, watching a movie, going for a walk or a run, or starting a new hobby.

De-stress: Try to find a way to relax, like a yoga class, a massage, practicing mindfulness exercises, painting, coloring or another creative activity.