Thyroid Cancer: Five Things You Really Need to Know

1) It’s not the ‘good cancer’ — You’ve just been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Your doctor tells you it’s the ‘good cancer.’ That if you’re going to get cancer, this is the one to get. This is what the majority of us hear, and it’s one of the most derogatory and misleading statements that can be made to someone who has just received a life-changing diagnosis. The reason why we’re often deemed ‘lucky’ to have thyroid cancer is because of the high survival rate. If caught early, the most common types have a five-year survival rate of nearly 100 percent. There are much rarer types and later stages that drop that survival rate down to as low as 7 percent. But no matter which type you have, or when it’s caught, no one is lucky to have any kind of cancer. Check out this video by ‘Bite Me Cancer‘ to hear from other survivors about their challenges. We all need to stand up to this ignorance.

2) It’s usually not as easy as ‘just taking a pill every day’ — Another ignorant statement made by too many doctors. Patients hear about their ‘good’ cancer and how removing the thyroid is no big deal. You just take a pill and you’ll be fine. But the majority of the time, that’s not the case. The thyroid is a vital organ, and the body needs thyroid hormones to function properly (Click here to learn about the thyroid and what it does). It often takes a lot of tweaking to get those levels where they need to be, not only to function well but to help prevent recurrence. And sometimes where you need to be to prevent recurrence can bring unwanted symptoms. It can be very complex… for most there is nothing ‘easy’ about it. Which leads me to…

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