I thought it would be good if I compiled a list of the most common questions that I get asked when it comes to thyroid cancer. Feel free to ask me anything.
What were your symptoms? How did they find it?
I had absolutely no symptoms and have always felt pretty good through this all. My doctor felt a lump in my neck during a routine exam and sent me for further testing. The lump turned out to be cancer.
Do you have a family history of thyroid cancer?
No, I don’t know anyone in my family with this. Cancer of any type is even rare in my family.
What causes thyroid cancer?
No one really knows. Some research points to high radiation to the neck, like through a lot of dental xrays or things like that (this did not apply to me). Some say it’s something to do with agricultural products and exposure to pesticides, etc (again, doesn’t really apply to me growing up in an urban area). But for the most part, we don’t know what causes this (bad luck is my guess). It isn’t genetic and stems from a mutation of cells at some point in your life that grows into cancer.
What is life like without a thyroid?
A roller coaster! Ha, kidding, although somedays it feels that way. I take a thyroid hormone replacement pill every day that supplies by body with what my thyroid normally would be doing. But it’s not perfect. Your thyroid controls your body temperature, mood, metabolism, and energy and the pill replacement doesn’t do as good of a job as the real deal. Although most days I hardly miss that organ.
Did you have to undergo chemo or radiation?
No, thank goodness. Thyroid cancer is highly treatable through surgery and radioactive iodine treatments, and hopefully those are the only treatments I will continue to need. Although, sometimes chemo drugs and traditional radiation can be effective in cases such as mine where cancer keeps coming back. Hopefully the answer to this question remains no, but all possibilities are on the table at this point.