I'm looking for a word to describe when you are aware that something is real, however because you've never experienced said-thing firsthand, the thought of the thing seems like an abstract concept even though you are aware that it is very much real.
FOR EXAMPLE: I'm aware that genocide is occurring right now in other countries. However, because I don't live somewhere where I need to worry about genocide, genocide just seems like a intangible concept.
EXAMPLE 2: Despite my awareness of cancer, cancer has always just been a ________ to me because my family has never been effected by the disease.
Concept, idea, abstract, notion, are all close to the word but not what I'm looking for. Anything will help! Thank you!