To follow the theme I started, I posted a statistic on Facebook that I happened to find as I was doing my research this morning:
Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month Fact #2.1: From 2003-2007, approximately 1.8% of thyroid cancer patients were diagnosed under the age of 20. Wow. Go ahead and ask me: How does it feel to be part of that 1.8%?
Shocked? Me, too. And, to top it off, I'm definitely part of that 1.8%, considering I was diagnosed in 2006. I was astounded when I found this statistic. I had never really seen a percentage or number that ever told me exactly how uncommon if not rare it is to find thyroid cancer under 20 years of age.
Here's something that may surprise you. As I was contemplating that 1.8%, I couldn't help but wonder: Who out of the other 98.2% were not diagnosed under the age of 20 when they could have been? And, if they could have been diagnosed before 20, why weren't they?
If you really break down the events leading up to my diagnosis, I technically would not have been part of that 1.8%. I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis when I started getting some swelling and pain at the base of my neck. My sister was the one to ask my pediatrician for a neck ultrasound, just so see how my thyroid looks. Turns out, there was a nodule there that looked suspicious, since it was a singular nodule and it measured over 1cm. It was biopsied that week, and one week later, on June 1, 2006...well, you know.
The point I'm trying to make here, ladies and gents, is that we all need to be aware of our bodies and know what to look for. We need to know our family history -- as far back as it goes -- because there could be some problems we never knew about. A prime example is my family. But, if you're veteran TMOOP readers, you know that story, too.
As always, I wish you all love, happiness, and -- most importantly -- good health.
Like Daughter, Like Mother: Our Thyroid Cancer Journey
Behind the Blog
Adelina is a full-time wife, mother, practice manager, and medical transcriptionist. After receiving an ultrasound and countless biopsies, she was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer on December 11, 2009. She successfully underwent surgery on December 29, 2009, and had her first radioactive iodine treatment in February 2010. Following treatment, Adelina now sees her doctor once a year for follow-up. She has been doing well, and refuses to let cancer slow her down.
Dori is 26 years old. She was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer at the age of 17 on June 1, 2006, just three days prior to her high school graduation. Dori endured two radioactive iodine treatments and two surgeries to remove her complete thyroid and 39 total lymph nodes from her neck. She is now under close watch by her doctors, and only time will tell if the cancer stays at bay.