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Check Your Neck

Do you know what type of cancer is growing at the fastest rate?

The incidence rate of thyroid cancer has been increasing sharply since the mid-1990s for both men and women, with an estimated 56,400 new cases expected in 2012 – and US women are 2-3 times more likely to get it than men. (cited from American Cancer Society)

September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month and The Balancing Act® brought vital information to its viewers with their segment “Understanding the Link Between Thyroid Cancer and Hypothyroidism.”

You can watch the show here: http://www.thebalancingact.com/video/?v=C674F1UEG04035

Here are some important facts:

• The thyroid, located in the lower, front part of your neck is shaped similarly to a butterfly with one wing.
• The thyroid produces thyroid hormone into your bloodstream, called T3 & T4

• Thyroid hormones help the body make energy, keep body temp regulated and assist other organs

• Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormone due to removal or underactiivty

• Thyroid cells suck up circulating iodine from your blood to create T3 and T4

• There are 4 types of thyroid cancer (TC) – papillary (the most common), follicular, medullary & anaplastic

• It’s important to assemble the right team for your care, ask the right questions and get the right treatment plan for you.

Thyroid cancer can be discovered by a doctor or other health care provider who feels a lump or nodule on the front of a patient’s neck. The good news is only 5-10% of nodules turn out to be cancerous.

This cancer is highly treatable and successful for most people, but recurrence is possible so it does require a lifetime of careful monitoring.

Traditionally, patients go off their thyroid hormone therapy once a year to prepare for tests and endure weeks or months of hypothyroidism (symptoms can include fatigue to depression and dry skin and hair) – however there are new therapies available while doctors are testing for reoccurrence, so make sure to check out your options.

For more information, please go to: www.thyca.org and www.checkyourneck.com.