Medicine: Fear of Cancer

Fear, like pain (see below), has its good points. Fear sends the patient scurrying to the doctor to find out what, if anything, is wrong with him. But fear of cancer, especially among women, may go too far.

Among his patients, reports New York Gynecologist Robert T. Frank in the current Journal of the American Medical Association, "a large number are fear-stricken and panicky . . . They may . have been told tactlessly by their physician that they have a tumor in the breast, ovary or womb which requires immediate operation. [They] may resist...

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