September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

Early Detection Urged by Volunteers of ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association

Thyroid cancer is one of the few cancers that has increased its incidence rate over the past several years. About 25,690 people will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the U.S. in 2005.

September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month. ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc., encourages people to ask for a neck check the next time they visit their doctor. Signs to discuss with the physician include a lump or fullness in the neck, lymph node swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or voice changes.

“Find It Early” is the message for Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, sponsored by ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association. When detected early, most thyroid cancers are treatable. Early detection is the key to improving outcomes. Patient and caregiver education is also important, because thyroid cancer requires lifelong monitoring as recurrences can occur decades after treatment.

There are four types of thyroid cancer: papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic, as well as variants. Papillary and follicular are the most common types, affecting three times as many women as men. Treatment for these types of thyroid cancer involves surgery, often followed by radioactive iodine therapy to remove any remaining thyroid tissue. Other treatments for some thyroid cancer may include external beam radiation and chemotherapy.

In support of Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month and to raise awareness year-round, thyroid cancer survivors, caregivers, and friends are distributing free thyroid cancer awareness brochures featuring actress Catherine Bell, wearing the Thyroid Cancer Awareness Wristbands and Awareness Ribbon Pins, and displaying the magnet ribbons available from ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association.

In addition, the 8th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference will be held in Denver, Colorado, on October 21-23, 2005. The conference features prominent thyroid cancer specialist physicians, as well as other specialists and survivor/caregiver support group roundtables.

Free brochures and support services are available from ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association ( ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. is an all-volunteer, non- profit organization of thyroid cancer survivors, family members, and health care professionals, dedicated to support, education, communication, and thyroid cancer research fundraising and research grants. For more information, call 1-877-588-7904, fax to 630-604-6078, send e-mail to or