Sunday, June 2, 2013

Thyroid cancer facts

The Huffington Post brings us Thyroid  Cancer: The Five Things You Really Need to Know. One little factoid jumps out: UP 274 percent since 1997. That would make it the fastest growing cancer in the country. But it affects a relatively insignificant number of people - around 60,000 this year - so it doesn't get a lot of attention.

Number one to know is it is not the good cancer. There is no good cancer. The term is derogatory and misleading.


Number two is that taking a pill every day is not that easy. You need to replace the vital thyroid hormone but if they give you too much you will be hyper and if they give you too little you will be hypo - too much or too little does not do the body good. And the doctors try to keep your levels low to prevent that lovely possibility of recurrence.

Number three is there is no new normal. I hate that term. After both cancers I was supposed to reach a new normal. If I was nineteen at my first normal and now I am on my third normal. What is normal for me?

Number four is that oh so subtle scar across the front of your neck. It fades with time but it never goes away. Stop staring!

Finally, you are not alone with thyroid cancer, you just have to look a little further to find support because it is still rare. I can count on my fingers the number of people I know with thyroid cancer. This includes the pharmacist at the local Walgreens, Ria the painter, Yumi from Japan, Lesley in Texas, the other woman I cant remember her name who also had both breast and thyroid cancer, and a few others online. (I know I am forgetting someone but after cancer twice the brain is the first to go.) But I probably know hundreds of women with breast cancer - literally.

So if you know someone with thyroid cancer send them to thyca.org or bitemecancer.org.

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