The Reality of Scanxiety And Ways To Manage It

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Advocacy Groups | <b>Neuroendocrine Cancer Awareness Network</b>

By Anne Dabbs,
NCAN TN Chapter Leader, NET Patient

“Take My Breath Away”
“Every Breath You Take”
“The Air that I Breathe “

These were 3 of the songs which played through my headphones during my recent MRI scans.

Scanxiety is a relatively common buzz word in our Neuroendocrine social media sites. Is it real? Is it silly? How do I deal with it?

Scanxiety Can Be Divided Into Two Camps:
Those who are anxious about the results of the scans and those who are anxious about the actual scan itself. Both are valid concerns and both can be managed.

For those who fear the results, educating yourself about the needs for the scan and the possible outcomes can help manage anxiety. Good communication with your medical team is paramount and can lead to a confidence in their willingness and ability to guide you on your NETs journey, whatever results the scan may bring.
Trusting that they are always working in your best interest can lead to a sense of peace.

For patients who struggle with the scans themselves, the cause of angst and the solutions can be quite varied.

A CT scan for many is simply a matter of inconvenience. The dreaded Contrast drink before hand, the waiting, or the multiple images that might be needed, are typically not cause for great angst, just a seemingly major time drain.

A recent advent of several Radio-tracer scans are a source of protocol unfamiliar for many NETs patients. These uncertainties can be alleviated by a phone call to the facility and a short conversation with the nuclear medicine technicians. The scans themselves are fairly quick and typically uneventful.

MRI scans, however, can be a monumental source of anxiety for many patients. Claustrophobia is real and often times, not pretty.

If You Struggle With Claustrophobia Here Are 5 Tips That Can Help:

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