ThyCa News

ThyCa Invites You To Help Raise Awareness for Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, September

07/2009

Sponsored by ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association

Thyroid Cancer Survivors Urge Neck Checks for Early Detection
Free Downloadable Tools and Tips Available at www.thyca.org

Although many cancers have decreased in incidence, thyroid cancer is one of the few cancers continuing to increase, setting new records of around 37,000 people newly diagnosed each year in 2008 and 2009.

When detected early, most thyroid cancers are treatable; however, some are aggressive and difficult to treat. These are some of the many reasons why ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. sponsors Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month each September.

This month will highlight the year-round activities of ThyCa volunteers to:

  • increase thyroid cancer education;
  • raise awareness of the importance of early detection, treatment, and lifelong monitoring;
  • inform the public about ThyCa’s free information, resources and support; and
  • raise awareness of the need for more thyroid cancer research.

The message for Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month is “Find It Early.” When detected early, most thyroid cancers are treatable. Early detection is the key to improving outcomes. Patient and caregiver education is also important, because thyroid cancer requires lifelong monitoring as recurrences can occur even decades after the diagnosis and initial treatment.

ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc. (www.thyca.org) encourages people to ask for a neck check each time they visit their doctor. Signs to discuss with the physician include a lump or fullness in the neck, lymph node swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or voice changes.

“Health care professionals are essential to the detection of thyroid cancer,” says ThyCa Executive Director Gary Bloom of Olney, Maryland, himself a thyroid cancer survivor. “Done properly, a neck check can be as simple as touching the neck and watching the patient swallow. This can be done very quickly and won’t cause any delays for the medical office, but that minute could make all the difference in the world when it comes to diagnosing thyroid cancer. Most thyroid cancer is treatable if found early, but some types are very aggressive and difficult to treat.”

ThyCa invites everyone interested to help with thyroid cancer awareness efforts in their communities. A few of the activities that volunteers have organized organized:

  • Numerous ThyCa volunteers organize thyroid cancer awareness exhibit for their workplace.
  • Volunteers distribute awareness flyers to others in their community service organizations and at general cancer events.
  • A nursing instructor and nursing students are distributing awareness materials to health corners and bulletin boards in apartment complexes.
  • Thyroid cancer survivor give presentations on thyroid cancer awareness and distribute awareness materials to the attendees in school and community groups.
  • Throughout the United States, volunteers in ThyCa-affiliated thyroid cancer support groups are reaching out to local media to spread the message of early detection and lifetime monitoring,
  • Around the world, around the year, people are requesting free materials from ThyCa to raise awareness in their countries.

ThyCa’s web site <www.thyca.org> has several hundred pages of information about all types of thyroid cancer, diagnosis, treatment, research, clinical trials, questions to ask your doctor, local support groups, e-mail support groups, a calendar of coming events, the Rally for Research, and the annual International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference. Web site visitors can also download ThyCa's free publications, including awareness flyers, a Low Iodine Cookbook, fact sheets, and online newsletters.

In addition, ThyCa's web site has a section titled Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month with downloadable flyers entitled, "Find It Early” and “Know the Signs,” a fact sheet titled "About Thyroid Cancer” and more materials. Free awareness brochures featuring actress and thyroid cancer survivor, Catherine Bell, co-star of two hit TV series, “Army Wives” and “J.A.G.,” are also available.

For information and free materials about thyroid cancer, ThyCa's free support services, and the annual conference, e-mail to thyca@thyca.org, call toll free 1-877-588-7904, fax to 1-630-604-6078, write to PO Box 1545, New York, NY 10159-1545, or visit the web site.


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