Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month Highlights Worldwide Campaign To Educate Public about Fastest Increasing Cancer in Both Women and Men

Thyroid Cancer Survivors Urge Neck Checks; Awareness Handouts Free at

Thyroid cancer will set a new record total of 56,460 people newly diagnosed in the United States this year, and more than 200,000 worldwide. Thyroid cancer affects people of all ages, from young children to seniors. Unlike many cancers, thyroid cancer is increasing in incidence. When detected early, thyroid cancer is usually treatable. However, some thyroid cancers are aggressive and difficult to treat.

September brings the annual international grassroots effort that also highlights the year-round activities of ThyCa participants in more than 96 countries around the world to:

  • Raise awareness of the importance of early detection, treatment, and lifelong monitoring
  • Inform the public about thyroid cancer and free support services, resources, and educational events with experts
  • Increase awareness of the need for more thyroid cancer research

The message for Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month is “Find It Early.” Early detection is a key to improving outcomes.

ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. (, sponsor of Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, encourages people to ask for a neck check each 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. Most thyroid nodules are benign, but some are cancer.

“Health care professionals are essential to the detection of thyroid cancer,” says ThyCa Executive Director Gary Bloom of Olney, Maryland, himself a thyroid cancer survivor. “Done properly, a neck check can be as simple as touching the neck and watching the patient swallow. This can be done very quickly and won’t cause any delays for the medical office, but that 30 seconds could make all the difference in the world when it comes to diagnosing thyroid cancer.”

A few of the many grassroots activities that volunteers have organized:

  • In Texas, a mother who is a survivor of thyroid cancer, and her children are going to neighborhood pharmacies each weekend in September to give out wallet cards and Neck Check cards.
  • \In Virginia, a hospital staff member has developed a Thyroid Cancer Awareness Display
  • In Connecticut, a school staff member is giving materials to students and staff.
  • Volunteers in than 90 local ThyCa support groups in the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, and Philippines, provide telephone and e-mail support and hold support group meetings.
  • Around the world, thyroid cancer survivors, caregivers, and friends wear Neck Check shirts, wristbands, and pins, and give awareness materials to their friends and family.

Hundreds of pages of thyroid cancer information and free downloadable materials are available in English, Chinese, French, Japanese, and Spanish on ThyCa’s web site.. On October 19-21, 2012, the 15th Annual International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference will take place in Chicago, Illinois, with more than 35 distinguished experts speaking.

Free materials and information are available from the nonprofit ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. (which began in 1995), by e-mailing to, calling toll free 1-877-588-7904, faxing to 1-630-604-6078, writing to ThyCa, PO Box 1545, New York, NY 10159-1545, or visiting our web site.


Contact: Cherry Wunderlich, 301-493-8810,, Director of Publications and Outreach
ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.
Sponsor of Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month