September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month.
* Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine cancer. Thyroid cancer is a cancerous tumor or growth located within the thyroid gland (the front of your neck).
* Thyroid cancer is one of the few cancers that has increased in incidence rates over recent years. It occurs in all age groups from children through seniors.
* The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 37,200 new cases of thyroid cancer in the U.S. in 2009. Of these new cases, about 27,200 will occur in women and about 10,000 will occur in men. About 1,630 people (940 women and 690 men) will die of thyroid cancer in 2009.
* Many patients, especially in the early stages of thyroid cancer, do not experience symptoms. However, as the cancer develops, symptoms can include a lump or nodule in the front of the neck, hoarseness or difficulty speaking, swollen lymph nodes, difficulty swallowing or breathing, and pain in the throat or neck.
* There are several types of thyroid cancer: papillary, follicular, medullary, anaplastic, and variants.
Check your neck! Follow the link to learn how to do this at home, or ask your doctor to do it for you at your next exam.