September has been recognized as thyroid cancer awareness month since 2000. Thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland at the front of the neck. The thyroid secretes hormones that help regulate many body functions including the brain, eyes, heart, skin, hair, the intestine, and our metabolism.
Whether you are a thyroid cancer survivor or you know someone who has struggled with it, it is important to understand the key facts about this type of cancer and help spread awareness for it.
Here are some things you should know about thyroid cancer:
- Thyroid cancer is the most rapidly increasing cancer in incidence in the US.
- It can affect people of all ages.
- Although both sexes can get thyroid cancer, over two-thirds of those who have thyroid cancer are women.
- There are various types of thyroid cancer, which means that treatments are tailored to the type and the individual.
- Similarly to most other cancers, thyroid cancer is usually treatable when detected early.
- But even when it is treatable, it is life-disrupting, expensive, and stressful for patients and their loved ones.
- However, some thyroid cancers are aggressive and difficult to treat.
- Detection can be difficult in the early stages of thyroid cancer due to the lack of apparent symptoms.
- This is why regular checkups are critical. All it takes is a simple neck check by a medical professional to detect a thyroid nodule.
Below is an infographic from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) that explains how to conduct a Thyroid Neck Check.