Thyroid cancer awareness month
September is thyroid cancer awareness month!
In this article I will go through what thyroid is and the symptoms associated with thyroid cancer.
The thyroid is a small gland in the front of your neck just below your larynx (voice box) which is close to the parathyroid glands. Every year, 3400 people in the UK are diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
There are four main types of thyroid cancer:
1. Papillary carcinoma – the most common type, accounting for 8 in 10 cases; it usually affects people under 40, particularly women
2. Follicular carcinoma – accounts for up to 1 in 10 cases and tends to affect middle-aged adults, particularly women
3. Medullary thyroid carcinoma – accounts for less than 1 in 10 cases; unlike the other types, it can run in families
4. Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma – the rarest and most serious type, accounting for around 1 in 50 cases; it usually affects people over the age of 60
Love Island star Demi Jones (Image: Demi Jones Instagram)
Now let’s get into the possible symptoms! The main symptom is often a painless lump or swelling low down in the front of the neck. To be aware, a neck lump is likely to be cancer if: it feels firm, doesn’t move around easily under the skin and gets bigger over time.
Other symptoms include:
· Swollen glands in the neck
· Unexplained hoarseness that doesn’t get better after a few weeks
· A sore throat that doesn’t get better
· Pain in your neck
· Difficulty swallowing
· Difficulty breathing
Demi Jones, a Love Island star, has opened up about her struggle after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She has been raising awareness to her 1.2M Instagram followers as she has a story highlight named “cancer” where she explains her journey and answers questions being openly honest.
If you or a loved one are worried about these symptoms, then please get in contact with your GP.