Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month Spotlights Need for Early Detection and More Research08/2019
While the most common thyroid cancers are usually treatable if found early, some types and variants are often aggressive and difficult to treat. And, unlike many other cancers, the mortality rate for thyroid cancer has gradually increased in recent years.
People of all ages, from infants through seniors, are diagnosed with thyroid cancer. In addition, patients need lifelong daily medication and periodic testing following treatment. The expenses can be high, and treatments may have side effects that impact patients’ quality of life.
ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. created this observance 19 years ago to increase awareness about the many types and variants of thyroid cancer: Papillary (and variants), Follicular (including Hurthle Cell), Medullary, and Anaplastic.
Throughout Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, people worldwide communicate several key points:
- “Find It Early” messages to encourage medical professionals to perform quick neck checks to find thyroid nodules through palpation using their fingers, together with expert follow-up if a nodule is found. These messages also emphasize that most thyroid nodules are benign, not cancerous.
- The urgent need for more research for new treatments and cures for all thyroid cancer. New treatments are extending lives for many people with thyroid cancer. However, the overall death rate continues to rise.
- Connections to thyroid cancer educational events with experts, including the annual International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference, plus videos and free handbooks, helpful support groups both in-person and online where patients and caregivers share experiences and coping tips, thyroid cancer awareness campaigns and research fundraising activities.
In 2019 the nonprofit ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. is marking its 24th year of providing thyroid cancer information and a wide array of free support services, educational resources, and thyroid cancer events to people affected by thyroid cancer as well as professionals and the public worldwide. Visit www.thyca.org.