I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in Nov., 1999. Surgery and radioactive iodine followed. In Dec., 2006, I found a lump in my neck that turned cancerous. Shortly thereafter, it was found to have metastasized throughout my body and to be untreatable and inoperable. I started a clinical trial with Sutent (sunitinib) since Apr., 2007.
In Nov., 2013, the tumors began growing again and I was removed from the Sutent Clinical Trial. I started a clinical trial taking of CEDIRANIB on 04/09/14.
While new cases of some cancers—including breast, lung, and prostate—are leveling off, cancer of the thyroid (an endocrine gland in the neck) is spiking; diagnoses rose a whopping 173 percent between 2002 and 2012, making thyroid cancer one of the fastest-growing types in the U.S. “Better screening and detection may explain part of the increase,” says Robert Smallridge, M.D., chairman of the division of endocrinology at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. “Still, research suggests other factors must be at play.”
One of the few known causes of thyroid cancer is radiation, and some experts believe excess exposure may be behind the increase. Smallridge is less certain. “The most common radiation sources, such as dental X-rays and airport security scanners, provide extremely low doses,” he says. For its part, the American Thyroid Association says it does not believe that routine dental X-rays, for example, lead to thyroid cancer. Still, a large cumulative exposure over a lifetime may raise your risk. Smallridge recommends always asking your doctor whether an X-ray or a CT scan is truly necessary. He also advises wearing a thyroid collar (a small lead bib that deflects radiation) before dental X-rays. (Some evidence suggests these collars compromise mammography results, so they’re typically not recommended for breast screenings; talk to your radiologist if you’re concerned.)
The good news: Thyroid cancer is highly curable and still rare—less than 1 percent of Americans will be diagnosed in their lifetime. To further lower your odds, maintain a healthy weight and load up on vegetables.