ThyCa News

Press Release 2008: ThyCa Invites You To Help Raise Awareness

08/2008

ThyCa Invites You To Help Raise Awareness for Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, September 2008 
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, with a new record total of 37,340 people expected to be diagnosed in the United States in 2008. 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 already organized:

  • In Virginia, a ThyCa volunteer is organizing a thyroid cancer awareness exhibit for her workplace.
  • • In South Carolina, a thyroid cancer survivor who is a dental hygienist will give awareness materials to accompany the neck checks that the dentist routinely does for thyroid nodules and other conditions.
  • In Colorado, Linda and Carl Allphin, facilitators of the ThyCa Southern Colorado Support Group, sent public service announcements and a press release, available on ThyCa’s web site, to radio stations and newspapers.
  • In New Jersey, Michael Dubrow, volunteer facilitator of the ThyCa Central New Jersey Support Group, organized an awareness materials display in conjunction with a physician’s talk on “Troubled Thyroid” at the Robert Wood Johnson Center for Health and Wellness in Hamilton.
  • In California, Joel Amromin, Bart Bartlett, Shilo Bartlett, and Riva Goldman are representing ThyCa at the nationally televised Stand Up To Cancer event being broadcast Friday, September 5th on ABC, CBS and NBC.
  • In West Virginia, John Breen of WDTV News Channel 5, recorded public service announcements, available on www.thyca.org, for thyroid cancer awareness as well as for the 11th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference.
  • In the District of Columbia, a nursing instructor and students are distributing awareness materials to health corners and bulletin boards in apartment complexes.
  • In Ohio, a volunteer is passing out brochures at her office, a housing organization.
  • In South Carolina, a thyroid cancer survivor plans to give a presentation on thyroid cancer awareness and distribute awareness materials to the attendees in the community group.
  • 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 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 only annual thyroid cancer survivors’ conference in the world, to be held this year on October 17-19, 2008, in St. Louis, Missouri. 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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