Each year, thyroid cancer affects many individuals in the U.S., and there is a growing number of survivors, according to The American Cancer Society. The rates for thyroid cancer may be increasing due to improved diagnostic techniques. If you're interested in learning about the experiences of thyroid cancer survivors, consider hearing firsthand stories from individuals who have faced and overcome this challenge.
Melissa Salvatore found out she had thyroid cancer during an annual physical . She states in an interview with Media Planet that she didn’t know much about the thyroid at the time or what having this form of cancer would mean for her life. She went online to learn more about what was happening to her body.
Her treatment started with radioactive iodine and three days of isolation. The iodine helped pinpoint metastasis of cancer and a full body scan showed it was now in her lungs, as well. Another round of radioactive iodine and isolation from her family and friends provided positive results. The cancer in her lungs disappeared. The removal of her thyroid gland means she must take replacement hormones for the rest of her life, one she hopes will be long and happy.
For Beth, the news that she had thyroid cancer came after the premature delivery of her daughter Keisha. Beth hada rare form of the disease called hyperparathyroidism.
She had been battling another medical problem that led to kidney stones and even a miscarriage, so Keisha was her miracle baby, as it turns out in more ways than one. If she had never had Keisha, she would not have known she had cancer.
Today, after surgery to remove her thyroid and chemotherapy, she is both a survivor and a mother.
Although thyroid cancer is more common in women, men are at risk, as well . Garyfound out he had the disease when he went to the doctor for a recurring a sore throat. A CT scan showed an area of concern in his neck and needle biopsy confirmed the diagnosis.
It took 10 hours in the operating room for surgeons to remove Gary’s thyroid and several affected lymph glands. He also underwent chemotherapy treatment at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Today, he serves as a cancer ambassador warning others about this disease.
For individuals diagnosed with thyroid cancer, common treatment options involve surgery to remove the gland and, if necessary, targeted therapies to eliminate cancer cells. This period can be physically and emotionally challenging, and some survivors may require ongoing therapies if the cancer persists.
The removal of the thyroid gland does impact the body, but it's manageable. After the thyroid is removed, synthetic thyroid hormones are typically prescribed to regulate metabolism. Some individuals may find certain nutritional supplements beneficial for aspects like hair and nails, but it's crucial to consult with your doctor before incorporating any supplements.
Fortunately, the death rate for thyroid cancer is low with proper diagnosis and early detection. Symptoms may include:
A lump in the neck that is palpable through the skin
Changes in voice
Pain in the neck or throat
Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
If you notice any of these warning signs, it's essential to consult with your doctor promptly to rule out thyroid cancer.
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