caret icon Back to all discussions

Managing Anxiety & Skin Cancer

Hello I’m a new member and both glad and sad to have found this group. Glad because I have been searching for a group like this for several months. Sad cause I wish I didn’t need to be posting here (and wishing that no one had to post about sc).

I suffer from OCD and my fears & anxiety have peaked about skin cancer in the last 6 months because I have had two basal cells and 1 squamous cell treated since August 2023.

I had the two bcs scrapped and burned and the sc was dealt with Mohs surgery (it was on my outer ear).

Since this time I have literally made my self sick with worry and anxiety about the cancer coming back or getting more cancer.

I am 45 so no super young, and I knew that cancer was a high probability for me as I am fair skinned, reddish hair and have led an outdoor lifestyle. I tried to be cognizant of skin care but as they say that the majority of the damage is done before you’re 20, so be it.

My anxiety had greatly affected my life and that of my family. My biggest fear is of course dying and leaving them. I have a therapist and am taking anxiety meds but I am still so tightly wound around my fears that I am having trouble living my life as I want to.

While they feel I don’t need such close visits, I am going to the dermatologist every 3 months and have my pcp give me a monthly skin check. I wear a wide brimmed hat now and apply sunscreen religiously. I also have invested in several sun shirts and will probably buy more.

I just finished up 3 weeks of treatment with Fluriscil cream on my ears as a preventative measure.

I would welcome any and all coping suggestion as I continue what I know will now be a life long journey in dealing with and battling skin cancer or conditions.

My biggest thing is trying not to rush to the dermatologist for every little thing that I see on me, learning to trust them and keep my regular appts. And also just coming to terms with the fact that while hopefully I wont face a terminal diagnosis that I need to look at this as a chronic condition, but one that is manageable if I remain diligent. Also not sinking into the miasma of fear, anger, anxiety and depression that I feel like I have been stuck in since August.

  1. I wanted to check in and see how you have been managing lately? Experiencing fear and anxiety around a skin cancer diagnosis is very normal, you’re not alone! I thought this article may resonate with you I hope you are able to take some comfort in knowing you’re being diligent and staying on top of your skin health. We’re here for you. All my best, Julie (team member)

    1. Thanks, I am still here. Not sure that my anxiety is any less, but I am trying to stay busy and do the things I love, while living with my reality of dealing with a future that may include more skin cancer.

      Currently my problem is that my anxiety has led to my picking at my skin and at areas that are near to my skin cancer surgery site or areas that I treated with 5FU cream, and this is just making the healing worse, which of course only makes the anxiety worse as those picked areas look dangerous.

      Trying not to obsess, pick, or worry and it is so tiring.

      1. I’m glad you’re hanging in there. Managing the anxiety can be difficult💕. Others in the community have had issues with picking as well, I hope you are able to find something to help ease your mind. -Julie (team member)

    Please read our rules before posting.