Don’t forget to check your neck!
Thyroid cancer is a relatively rare form of cancer and accounts for only about 1.5% of new cancer diagnoses in the US. However, over the last three decades, rates of thyroid cancer have been steadily increasing, making it the most rapidly increasing cancer in the US.
Thyroid cancer is often diagnosed at a younger age than other adult cancers. Women are also three times more likely to develop thyroid cancer than men. Fortunately, most thyroid cancers can be cured, especially if caught early.
“Thyroid nodules can often be silent and have no symptoms, so it’s important to have your healthcare provider examine your neck for the presence of nodules at your annual check-up,” says Dr. Shaghayegh Aliabadi-Wahle, MD, FACS, endocrine surgery specialist at The Oregon Clinic. “In recent years, treatment of thyroid cancer has become increasingly nuanced and it’s more important than ever to have an experienced multi-disciplinary team involved in your care.”
Some common symptoms of thyroid cancer can include a lump in the front of the neck, difficulty speaking or swallowing, voice hoarseness, and pain in the throat or neck. Exposure to radiation and a family history of thyroid issues are common risk factors.
Thyroid cancer is very treatable. Recent advancements in screening and treatments have seen death rates remain very low despite the increase in cases.
Treatment most often includes a combination of surgery, radioiodine therapy, and hormone replacement therapy.
The Oregon Clinic has many expert physicians trained in treating thyroid cancer in our Endocrine Surgery and Ear, Nose, & Throat specialties. Click here to learn more about our endocrine care.