Thursday, June 28, 2012

A bit more about thyroid cancer

If you have breast cancer or one of the 'popular' cancers, there are boatloads of information. Actually there are aircraft carriers full of information on the cancer. Enough information to go to the moon and back a million times.

But if you have an obscure cancer, no one knows about it. Thyroid cancer used to be nice and obscure - 10,000 cases annually. Now it is getting 'popular' and there are expected to be 50,000 cases a year. This means I can actually find information about it that is not in 'medical-speak' or the dreaded 'scientist-speak'.

So here is a nice little article explaining the thyroid cancer. The author of the study (yes another study, because we needed it), says:
“The excellent survival rates of almost all of our patients are predominantly due to the multidisciplinary optimization of their diagnostic and therapeutic management, including advanced molecular imaging techniques, highly sensitive laboratory assays, excellent endocrine surgery, individualized high-dose radioiodine therapy and lifelong medical surveillance.”

Please note the last three words - lifelong medical surveillance. Yep, it has a sneaky habit of coming back decades later. Isn't that nice. With most cancers, five years means the chances of recurrence are lower. Not so with thyroid cancer. It likes to return much later. How fun.

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