Tuesday, September 22, 2015

New campaign emphasizes support for people with thyroid cancer

September 19, 2015

An interactive, educational campaign designed to help dispel myths that thyroid cancer is a “good cancer,” was recently launched by The Light of Life Foundation, ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association Inc. and Eisai Inc., according to a press release.  

“As a thyroid cancer survivor, I urge people to stop referring to thyroid cancer as the ‘good cancer,’ as I believe it downplays patients’ experiences,” Joan Shey, founder of the Light of Life Foundation, said in the release. “I hear time and time again from patients how difficult their diagnosis and treatment were and that their scars are more than skin deep. My hope is that this campaign can educate about the many types of thyroid cancer and change the thyroid cancer conversation.”
The campaign, “Myths and Truths About Thyroid Cancer,” is aimed at informing people about the realities of thyroid cancer. Most thyroid cancers can be successfully treated and many falsely believe that this makes thyroid cancer “a good cancer.”

“Being part of a community of survivors is very important for people coping with thyroid cancer,” Gary Bloom, thyroid cancer survivor and cofounder and execuative director of ThyCa, said in the release. “ThyCa takes this to the heart, which is why we are proud to provide support and resources to the thyroid cancer community. We also know more needs to be done to elevate awareness of thyroid cancer and what patients need in terms of support for the rest of our lives.”

People diagnosed with thyroid cancer may often feel misunderstood by their family and friends, but the campaign emphasizes the need for support and resources specific to their thyroid cancer experience, even after their diagnosis.

“I see patients with advanced forms of thyroid cancer, which can be aggressive, difficult to treat and often require the involvement of an integrated health care team,” Marcia Brose, MD, PhD, associate professor and director of Rare Cancers and Personalized Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center, said in the release. “Not all thyroid cancers are the same, and it is important that people diagnosed with and treated for thyroid cancer understand their treatment. In addition, if initial treatment does not eradicate their disease, they should find a medical oncologist with experience in the treatment of advanced thyroid cancer.”

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