Wednesday, October 8, 2008

FYI: Thyroid Cancer

Last month was Thyroid Cancer Awareness month and would you know that I forgot write a post. Never fear. It's not too late to let you in on some interesting thyroid facts and how you can do a thyroid check at home. Here is some information I have gotten from a thyroid newsletter written by Mary Shomon at

The American Cancer Society estimates that 37,340 new cases of thyroid cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year, most of them in women.

An estimated 1,590 people will die of thyroid cancer during 2008. Thyroid cancer is, however, considered one of the least deadly and most survivable cancers, and 5-year survival rates for thyroid cancer is almost 97%.

Thyroid cancer is more common in younger people, and nearly two-thirds of those diagnosed with thyroid cancer are between the ages of 20 and 55.

Thyroid cancer is one of the few cancers on the rise in recent years, with a growth rate of about 6% a year since 1997. Many experts believe that the increase is primarily due to greater use of thyroid ultrasound, which is better able to detect previously malignant thyroid nodules that, in the past, likely went undetected.

Here are the steps for doing a thyroid self-check: **important note: This will not rule out thyroid disease or thyroid cancer. For accurate diagnosis, please see your physician**

1. Stand in front of a mirror

2. Stretch neck back

3. Swallow water

4. Look for enlargement in neck (below the Adam's Apple, above the collar bone)

5. Feel area to confirm enlargement or bump

6. If any problem is detected, see a doctor