It’s September; the month we say goodbye to the long days at the beach, the month the kids go back to school, the month we begin to think about the holidays. September is also Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month.
While it is observed worldwide and has been since 2000, many people are unaware of it. Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month was initiated by ThyCa (Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association) and originally started out as being only a week long. After three years it was expanded to the whole month of September. This awareness was put forth in an effort to encourage people to get yearly checkups for early detection and also to increase research in order to find cures for all thyroid cancers.
Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month is as good a time as any to address the misconceptions and give some much needed insight into this condition, as well as stress the importance of getting your thyroid checked.
One of the biggest misconceptions of thyroid cancer is that is it the “good cancer”. That statement alone is oxymoronic because how can anyone think there is such a thing as a good cancer? Cancer is bad. This misconception has grown because when detected early, thyroid cancer is usually treatable. The treatments can vary depending on the type and can include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, radioactive iodine, surgery, and life-long daily medications. However, this isn’t always the case. Certain thyroid cancers are extremely aggressive and difficult to treat. Thyroid cancer is not the “good cancer.”
While many people are unaware of thyroid cancer or their thyroid in general, it is very common. In 2015 62,000 Americans will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer according to the American Cancer Society. This type of cancer, like many others, isn’t age biased. Thyroid cancer can affect people of all ages which include very young children and older adults. It also affects both males and females; however, more than two-thirds of those diagnosed with thyroid cancer are women.
There are four different types of thyroid cancer. These include,
- Papillary – the most common type of thyroid cancer in the United States.
- Follicular –the second most common type.
- Medullary –the uncommon type (2 in every 100 people with thyroid cancer).
- Anaplastic –the least common type.
Take advantage of Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month and get your thyroid checked. It is a simple procedure that can be done at your doctor’s office. However, if you don’t have the time, you can always opt for a self-check.
Share with us below how you’re getting involved in Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month!