It’s Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month – Check Your Neck!

Check your neck

September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month.

I sometimes wonder how different my story would have been if I hadn’t checked my neck. It gives me the shivers thinking what might have been… but let’s not go there.

Thyroid Cancer is on the rise. You can analyse the statistics here.

When I found my first nodule, a doctor friend told me not to worry because Thyroid Cancer is an old lady’s disease. But it’s not. In fact, Thyroid Cancer is often diagnosed at a younger age than other cancers, and 2 out of 3 patients are under 55 years of age.

However, Thyroid Cancer is still one of the most survivable cancers and  looking for the symptoms is quick and painless … you can simply check your neck. Checking your neck can help you find lumps or enlarged areas that may point to all kinds of thyroid conditions, such as cancer, goiters or nodules. If you do find any lumps or bumps, don’t panic! This doesn’t mean you have thyroid cancer! But… it does mean you should make an appointment with your doctor and get it checked out. Don’t underestimate the power of prevention!

This is how you do it…

1. Stand in front of a mirror and stretch your neck back.

2. Take a drink of water. and swallow. As you swallow, look at your neck. Look for any bulges in the neck, but don’t confuse your Adam’s Apple with your thyroid gland! (The thyroid  is located further down your neck, closer to the collarbone.)

3. You might want to repeat this process a few times.

4. If you do feel any lumps or bumps, see your doctor.

Don’t forget to check your neck… and spread the word!