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September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

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September Thyroid Cancer Awarenss Month

September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

This is a completely non-art related post but, as a thyroid cancer survivor, I post about this every year on social media.

I was hospitalized in January of 2008 for a total thyroidectomy and in February of 2008 underwent radiation therapy.  It took until February of 2010 for my body to return to somewhat of a sense of normality in terms of not being tired all the time and actually feeling good.  You can’t underestimate the influence of the thyroid gland on practically every bodily function.  Non only did it affect my body, but it also affected my soul, causing a debilitating clinical depression that took 3 months to recover from.   If you’re a cancer survivor too, please read this excellent article from the New York Times, “After Cancer, Ambushed by Depression.”

Although I’ve mentally recovered from the depression, my physical body has never been the same, but I’m not complaining.  I merely share this for the people that are, or will, have a similar experience so that you know you’re not alone.  I’m often asked how they found the cancer.  It was during a routine annual physical exam.  My doctor felt a lump on my throat.  He sent me for an ultrasound of my throat.  They saw something abnormal and from there sent me for a fine-needle biopsy and within a month I got the diagnosis of thyroid cancer.

Thyroid cancer is the fastest-growing cancer in the U.S. for people under 40.  What can you do about it?  Make sure every year during your annual physical that you remind your doctor to check your neck.

Please share this post if you know anyone who is grappling with thyroid cancer or worried about it.  I’m happy to answer questions, which you can post to this page and then if you don’t want them to appear, just let me know and I”ll respond to you privately.

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Written by Jenifer Mangione Vogt

September 6, 2012 at 3:04 am

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