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Thyroid cancer on the rise particularly in young women

By Cynthia Trowbridge     Sep 18, 2007 in Health
Thyroid cancer is not as common as many other forms of cancer.
But among women, and particularly young women, it is the fastest rising form of cancer.
There are four main types of thyroid cancer.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that is at the front of the neck.
Because of its rise there is a discussion by a group of doctors this Thursday about this type cancer
Cancer of the thyroid is found three to five more times in women than men. What is especially scary is it is being found more often in young women of child-bearing age.
If a person has thyroid cancer they will not look or feel ill.
Often the cancer will be suspected by the woman's doctor or gynecologist. If the doctor feels a nodule in the persons neck he/she will order tests to check to see if there is something there.
The likelihood is that because of diagnostic acumen, we probably make the diagnosis earlier and more commonly than we did in the past," said Martin Black, director of McGill University's head and neck oncology program, based at the Jewish General Hospital and the McGill University Hospital Health Centre
According to Michael Tamilia, an endocrinologist and chairman of the thyroid tumour board at the Jewish General the possibility of the increase in thyroid cancer could be due to the increase low-grade environmental pollution. He said the possibility could be from the 1986 nuclear explosion in Chernobyl.
The ten year survival rate for thyroid cancer in its common form is 95 per cent. But according to Tillman the problem with thyroid cancer is its biological variability. "It behaves differently in different individuals," he said, "and it is that biological variability that frustrates us."
Treatment for thyroid cancer is aggressive. First there is surgery and often a form of radiation therapy and then radioactive iodine to be sure the thyroid is completely destroyed.
I was surprised to see this article today.
My grand daughter had thyroid cancer last year. She is now 22 years old.
Last year she was told her cancer was the type that is only in the thyroid and would not spread to any other part of her body.
Her thyroid was surgically removed and she was given radioactive iodine.
This is part of an email I received from my daughter-in-law this morning:
"We just received a very concerning call from our eldest daughter. She was on her way to work this morning and got a call from her endocrinologist about some test results that she had done a couple of weeks ago. The tests she had were blood work, chest x-ray & an ultra sound. The ultra sound came back indicating that there are a couple of new limp nodes in her neck.
Dr. seems to think with her history of cancer that surgery maybe the only option. He scheduled her to come see him on Oct. 2 @ 9:00am, options will be discussed then."
Needless to say I am very concerned and heart broken.
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