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Threat to Your Command Center

The thyroid is an essential gland located at the base of the throat (think of it as Star Trek’s command center). It utilizes iodine – a mineral found in some foods and iodized salt – to secrete thyroid hormone, which controls such bodily functions as heart rate, energy level, and weight. It also produces calcitonin, which helps the body control calcium balance.

Thyroid cancer occurs in men and women from late teens to senior years, but is most common in women between 30 and 60. Most cases occur without an obvious cause or risk factors, although it can be hereditary. During 2023, the National Cancer Institute projected that nearly 44,000 people in the United States would be diagnosed with thyroid cancer and just over 2,100 would die from it.

Asymptomatic Problem

While the death rates are not high, thyroid cancer poses a challenge: most are asymptomatic. Some can cause such symptoms as pain, difficulty swallowing, enlarged lymph nodes or voice changes. It is usually diagnosed after discovery of a lump or nodule that is felt or detected by an ultrasound or other imaging study. A biopsy is necessary to confirm a diagnosis.

There are four primary kinds: 1) papillary thyroid cancer, 2) follicular thyroid cancer, 3) medullary thyroid cancer, 4) anaplastic thyroid cancer. The most common is papillary thyroid cancer, which accounts for approximately 85% of all diagnoses. Fortunately, the cure rates for this type of thyroid cancer are high.

Talk with Your Doctor

Go get checked. Talk with your primary care provider about screening tests that can detect any potential problems. Also, if you have a loved one or friend who is suffering from a form of gynecological cancer, consider organizing an event or fundraiser to help attack this dreaded disease.

You may also want to consider donating to our Good Samaritan Cancer Fund, which helps patients who are struggling to pay for their medication, transportation to appointments, hotel stays for long visits, and other costs.

Join Us in Helping to Continue the Fight Against Thyroid Cancer

Good Samaritan Fund