September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

Since this is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, the School of Medicine at Mount Sinai shared this cheat sheet for thyroid cancer. It includes how to check yourself for thyroid cancer and the symptoms of thyroid cancer.

Mount Sinai Experts Share Tips to Self-Diagnose

Newswise — (New York, September 1, 2015) – According to the American Cancer Society, 62,000 Americans will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2015, most of them before reaching age 55. Experts at the Head and Neck Institute at Mount Sinai Health System encourage the public to perform regular thyroid neck self-exams and be aware of the symptoms of thyroid cancer.

“The thyroid is responsible for producing hormones that help the body regulate its metabolism,” says Marita Teng, MD, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Although the vast majority of thyroid nodules are benign, some can be cancerous and require examination and follow-up.”

“Fortunately, Thyroid cancer is easily identified,” says Mike Yao, MD, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Yearly screening and regular check-ups are an important part of early diagnosis for these cancers.”

According to Dr. Teng, examining your neck can in some cases help you find growths that may point to thyroid conditions, including thyroid cancer.

Drs. Teng and Yao are available for interview

How to Perform a Thyroid Neck Self-Exam:
• Use a mirror and focus on the lower middle area of your neck, above the collarbones, and below the Adam’s apple (larynx). Your thyroid gland is located in this area of your neck.
• While focusing on this area in the mirror, tip your head back.
• Take a drink of water and swallow.
• As you swallow, look at your neck. Check for any bulges or protrusions in this area when you swallow. Don’t confuse the Adam’s apple with the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located further down on your neck, closer to the collarbone. You may want to repeat this process several times.
• If you do see any bulges or protrusions in this area, see your physician. You may have an enlarged thyroid gland or a thyroid nodule and should be checked to determine whether cancer is present or if treatment for thyroid disease is needed.

Symptoms & Facts About Thyroid Cancer
• There are four types of thyroid cancer: papillary cancer, follicular cancer, medullary cancer, and anaplastic cancer. Papillary cancer is the most common form.
• Thyroid cancers occur three times more often in women than in men.
• Thyroid cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women, and is the fastest growing number of new cases among all cancers in both men and women due to increased detection.
• Symptoms of thyroid cancer are: lump in the neck; hoarse voice; enlarged lymph nodes; trouble swallowing or breathing; and constant cough not due to a cold.
• Many thyroid cancers are curable if treated appropriately.

About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.

The System includes approximately 6,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 12 minority-owned free-standing ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. Seven departments at The Mount Sinai Hospital and one at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (NYEE) ranked nationally in the top 25 in the 2015-2016 “Best Hospitals” issue of U.S. News & World Report. Mount Sinai’s Kravis Children’s Hospital also is ranked in seven out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report.

For more information, visit http://www.mountsinaihealth.org/ or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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