Convinced I'm dying of stomach cancer - Anxiety Support

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Convinced I'm dying of stomach cancer


Hey all,

I'm a 26 year old male. Just last week I started getting a weird pressure feeling in my abdomen. Didn't think too much of it but it bothered me enough to try and make an appointment with my GP. Unfortunately, the closest appointment was 2 weeks out. Naturally, things started to get worse for me. I started feeling nauseous and full before I was even finished eating. My appetite has nearly vanished. I'm nauseous most of the day, especially during and after eating and drinking (including water). I went to the ER on Sunday night and DRs diagnosis was gastritis. Gave me a PPI and some anti-nausea medication.

Since then, I've managed to squeeze in an appointment with a Gastro DR today. He is also convinced that hospital made right call but is offering an endoscopy next Tuesday, just need to tell him tomorrow.

Normally, stomach issues don't frighten me, but feeling full after small meals, immediate nausea, and bloating feeling on the abdomen have me convinced I have cancer. Couple that with a dull pain on my left side and a dull pain occasionally just below my left rib cage on the front of my chest.

I've had health anxiety in the past (~7 yrs ago) but I thought I had beat that. I'm just a wreck right now, and I feel like I've broken down at least 20 times by now.

Sometimes, I feel like if I take my mind off of it long enough, things seem to go away but given past battles with anxiety, I'm having a hard time right now rectifying what is real and what isn't. In fact, having prior knowledge of just how bad anxiety can affect me is almost a weakness in my opinion. I'm constantly second guessing what's real and what isn't and I'm worried I'm going to brush off something serious, this leading me to feel worse.

I'm in my last month of school and I'm worried I'm going to lose it all.

11 Replies

Hello, I’m experiencing the same stomach issue your going through too. I have been dealing/managing with anxiety with my life, the past 2 years my anxiety has been elavated. In the past 3 months my digestive issues has been giving me physical symptoms, beacause I feel these physically sensations makes me think I have something serious like cancer too. I’m pretty sure it’s linked with my elavated anxiety. Sometimes I’m second guessing if it’s something serious too. I too I’m thinking of seeing my doctor. Hope we can get through this because it’s hard living our lives at work, home etc, feeling this stomach issues. Take care.

Plzsendhelp in reply to Marc787

I'm in my last semester of my degree and I feel like I'm about to throw it all away. I'm OBSESSING over how I feel. I woke up nauseous. Tried to vomit but nothing came up but gas. Ate some toast with jelly and just feel sick.

I just feel like I'm beginning to be paralyzed by fear. The idea that I can schedule this endoscopy frightens me, for good and bad. I'm either going to be cleared and crazy, or right and dying.

b1b1b1 in reply to Plzsendhelp

I think the endoscopy will be OK. Have it done. Also, tell the doctor that you are very worried. He may be able to reassure you.

Plzsendhelp in reply to b1b1b1

Thanks for the reply,

I feel like everything is about to snowball. I scheduled the endoscopy but now I'm terrified that the procedure is going to go wrong, cardiac arrest under anesthesia, bleeding, etc. IDK how to hold myself together right now.

b1b1b1 in reply to Plzsendhelp

I had an endoscopy. It is NOT a dangerous procedure. The risks you mention are so unlikely as to be laughable. It is also not painful. The fears that you mention are an indication that your problem is actually anxiety. Also, in my case, anesthesia was not used as there was no pain. If you are concerned about the procedure call the doctor's nurse and speak to her about you worries about the endoscopy. Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

Plzsendhelp in reply to b1b1b1

I had an endoscopy done about 7 years ago. I distinctly remember them saying I didn't wake up from anesthesia very quickly and I've always worried that it was some sort of issue. I'm just constantly worried something is going to go wrong.

It's so difficult trying to discern if what I'm feeling is real or anxiety related. I've never felt these type of issues with my stomach before, nauseous as soon as I wake up and after I eat/drink, belching, and weird abdominal pressure/aches.

Worse, I feel like I'm dragging down my wife and mother with this. They are both supportive, but I know it isn't fair to them. I'm just terribly afraid of dying and just no longer existing.

Have you or anyone else here found a way to look past this type of feeling.

b1b1b1 in reply to Plzsendhelp

You do not need anesthesia for an endoscopy. You are perfectly within your rights to refuse this. I actually quite enjoyed mine as I could watch it on a monitor. The inside of the stomach is very interesting to see.

Plzendhelp, The chances of you having cancer or some other major illness are so small as not to worry about. The reason you think you have stomach cancer is due to your anxiety disorder: anxiety always makes us believe the worst case scenario. But you are right to have sought medical attention and to have an endoscopy which will bring you reassurance.

Endoscopies are no big deal these days and much improved in recent years. They are a lot thinner for a start so you get a choice of a tranquilliser or nothing. General anasthetics are no longer necessary. Last time I took the tranquilliser but if I ever need another I'll take nothing.

Doctor Claire Weekes wrote in her well known book "Hope and help for your nerves" that the stomach is the most sympathetic organ to anxiety disorder. Which is to say that's where we are most likely to feel the impact of an over sensitised nervous system. As you probably know nerves over-sensitised by anxiety are very good at imitating real organic illness. So most of us get diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome when it's just our nerves playing tricks.

I think all the symptoms you mention that are centred on your stomach are extremely familiar to people with anxiety disorder and I doubt if you're the exception.

By the way, the endoscope will be able to rule out the possibility of a hiatus hernia. However, hiatus hernias can be simply fixed using micro surgery in the very unlikely event it was that.

You probably aggravate the situation by generating lots of fear and stress hormones that keep your nervous system sensitised. If you could accept all these fake symptoms for the time being calmly and with the minimum fear response then it would give your nerves a rest and an opportunity to recover. In the meantime I recommend the centuries old remedy of fresh ginger root (from your local supermarket) sliced paper thin and steeped in hot water. Allow to cool and sip constantly. This has a great calming effect on the stomach and bowels (most of what people refer to as their stomach is actually the intestines, ascending bowel, transending bowel and descending bowel).

I think the problem is you've become obsessive about your upset stomach caused by anxiety and have blown it up out of all proportion in your mind. So just remember the power of anxiety to cause us problems is limited - and certainly doesn't include stomach cancer.

Plzsendhelp in reply to Jeff1943


I want to thank you for taking the time out to right this post. I have a long road ahead of me battling anxiety this time around (as you can tell by the username I hastily created last night).

Hoping the endoscopy can put this all to rest such that I can get my life back together.

If I may ask Jeff, have you been dealing with anxiety your whole life? I'm fairly certain I have a severe form of GAD but I'm worried about taking medication for it.

My anxiety order is inherited, it first cropped up 45 years ago, so I will never be free of it but using the Acceptance method of Doctor Claire Weekes and the occasional diazepam I am free from it most of the time. If you find your GAD overwhelming then take the meds: anxiety about taking anti-anxiety meds is just another symptom of anxiety.

Update for everyone. My endoscopy got moved to today, DR wanted to just put me at ease.

Nothing of concern found on his end, mild bile gastritis, or so he says. Unfortunately, I've been hunting for a new answer to this. Throughout the day I've started to do exactly what I was afraid I was going to do: had trouble breathing from my nose emptying into my throat and immediately my mind jumps to pulmonary embolism due to my inactivity over the last week.

I've tried breathing exercises for most of the day and I thought I was finally getting better. I've been trying to sleep now since 12 am (now 2:30 am) but I've got it stuck in my head (literally) that I have a brain tumor.

I'm jolting/tremoring awake right as I'm about to fall asleep, getting nauseous when laying down on one side, sinus like pressure feeling with the associated light-headed feeling, some numbness on the face. Since my nausea was always worse in the morning, I feel like I'm convinced.

Looking back, I feel like I can't remember anything, I feel like I can't type on my phone anymore etc.

Honestly, I've gotten less than 18 hours of sleep in the last 3 days and for the most part, it hasn't been comfortable or continuous for sure and that probably contributing to this. I just feel so lost right now.

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