Thyroid Cancer on the rise

Posted at 11:38 PM, Sep 29, 2016
and last updated 2018-12-28 09:58:03-05

They say you’re never prepared to hear those words “You have cancer.”

Stacy Brodie-Dull didn’t have any symptoms. Her primary care doctor noticed her neck looked swollen. A second ultrasound would eventually show a small nodule on her thyroid.

With her husband by her side, Stacy had her first surgery.

“My first procedure was a left thyroidectomy which essentially to take the thyroid out so that they could look at it and find out if in fact it was cancer there,” Stacy said.

About five weeks later, Stacy had a second surgery.  Thankfully, there was no cancer on the right side.

“Typically this cancer doesn’t come back. But it’s also not the type of cancer that has a high mortality rate. So when we talk about thyroid cancer recurrence is really the big issue surrounding it.” Dr. Ryan Sobel says.

Dr. Ryan Sobel is a head and neck surgeon at the Johns Hopkins Head and Neck Center at GBMC. He says thyroid cancer is on the rise.

“It’s going up in incidents. It’s probably doubled over the past several decades.  It’s probably about 7 or 8 times likelihood that it will happen in women,” says Dr. Sobel.

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Often time’s thyroid cancer has no symptoms, but you should still be aware of anything that seems 'off.'

“When they’re lying flat they may feel compressive type symptoms. They may feel the urge to cough and don’t know why,” Dr. Sobel said.

He said treatment for thyroid cancer is surgery.

Stacy says, while she has the scars to show what she went through. It’s all part of her journey.

“I look at it like my nose. It means we’ve been through something together and it means we’re okay. We’re okay,” says Stacy.

Because her cancer moved out to her lymph nodes, Stacy will need radioactive iodine treatment. She says that will happen after the first of the year.

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