3 Reassuring Things To Know If You've Just Been Diagnosed With Thyroid Cancer
Being given a cancer diagnosis is one of the most terrifying events most people will experience in their lifetime. Even if you know that medical science is continually improving the treatment and increasing the survival rates for cancer sufferers, it's will still come as a life-altering shock. If you've recently been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, then you may be feeling overwhelmed, frightened and a grave uncertainty about the future.
Fortunately, as far as cancers go, thyroid cancer is a diagnosis that you should be relatively relieved to receive in comparison to many other cancers. Here are three things that might help you to understand the disease and to set your mind at ease about your health and your future.
1. Thyroid cancer has a very high survival rate
Unlike many other types of cancer which have very low survival rates, thyroid cancer is very unlikely to be fatal. The survival rates range from around 96% at the time of diagnosis up to almost 99% after a five year period from diagnosis. These figures essentially mean that you're highly unlikely to die from this cancer if you receive adequate and timely treatment.
One of the reasons why the survival rate is so high for thyroid cancer is because of early diagnosis. The symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing and breathing, shortness of breath, a persistent cough and a noticeable swelling in the neck are all symptoms which are hard to ignore. This leads to prompter diagnosis and treatment before the cancer can spread to other parts of the body.
2. Thyroid cancer treatment is generally mild
Thyroid cancer treatment almost always involves surgery to remove some or all of the affected thyroid gland. The location of the thyroid gland, at the base of the throat, entails only minor surgery with a relatively speedy recovery time.
If the thyroid cancer is detected early, surgery is often enough to successfully treat this disease. For cancer that has advanced, localised radioactive iodine treatment, radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be required, though this is rare.
3. You can live a normal life after thyroid cancer
With many other cancers, successful treatment can come at an enormous cost to mobility, independence and quality of life. With thyroid cancer, if your receive prompt medical treatment, you can expect to be able to live your life as freely as you did prior to your diagnosis in most cases.
The thyroid gland may be small, but it does serve a very important process in your body. It produces hormones that help to regulate and maintain a healthy metabolism. If only part of your thyroid gland is removed, the remaining part of the gland will still be able to function efficiently. If the whole gland is taken, you'll need to take a hormone replacement drug to support your endocrine system. For more information, contact experts like Jane Harding Endocrine Surgeon.