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Worldwide Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month Highlights Neck Checks, Events, Free Support



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September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, and survivors, caregivers, friends, and organizations everywhere will be urging everyone to “Find It Early” through neck checks, reports the sponsoring nonprofit ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.

Thyroid cancer is the fastest increasing cancer among both men and women, affecting people from young children through seniors. It is estimated that more than 60,000 people will be newly diagnosed this year in the United States alone, and more than 200,000 worldwide. Thyroid cancer is usually treatable when detected early. However, some thyroid cancers are aggressive and difficult to treat.

Throughout the month of September, people in more than 100 countries around the world will participate in the annual international grassroots effort to:

  • Raise awareness of the importance of early detection, treatment, and lifelong monitoring;
  • Inform the public about thyroid cancer and free support services, resources, and educational events with experts, including, in 2013, the 16th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference on September 27-29 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
  • Increase awareness of the need for more thyroid cancer research, highlighted this year by a 2,650-mile mountain hike by a thyroid cancer survivor, plus a Virtual 5k Run for awareness and research funding.

ThyCa, sponsor of Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month since initiating the observance in 2000, encourages people to ask for a neck check each time they visit their doctor. “Signs to discuss with the physician include a lump or fullness in the neck, lymph node swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or voice changes,” says ThyCa Executive Director Gary Bloom, himself a thyroid cancer survivor. “These are signs of a possible thyroid nodule. Most thyroid nodules are benign, but some are cancer. Health care professionals are essential to the detection of thyroid cancer.”

A few of the many grassroots activities that volunteers have organized this year:

  • In Utah, Kerry is contacting her local newspaper about a story, as well as posting flyers in stores and giving out materials.
  • In New Jersey, Brian is giving out materials at a thyroid cancer awareness event at his church, in honor of his mother, who recently died of thyroid cancer.
  • In Oregon, Maria, mother of a child diagnosed with thyroid cancer, is distributing materials in her middle school.
  • In Minnesota, Shannon is giving out awareness materials including neck check cards at her doctors’ appointments.
  • In North Carolina, Ashley is holding weekly meetings of the ThyCa Greenville Support Group to plan and conduct awareness outreach activities.
  • In Massachusetts, Jayne is giving out materials at the YMCA where she’s a staff member.
  • In Alabama, Kristen is giving out materials in her community.
  • In Illinois, Linda, is posting materials for staff at the nursing and rehabilitation center where she works.
  • In the Pacific Coast Mountains, Jennifer is nearing the completion of her 2,650-mile hike for awareness and fundraising, highlighted on ThyCa’s web site on the home page and Rally for Research page.
  • Radio, television, and online interviews and articles, plus social media outreach including Facebook and Twitter messages, are educating friends, families, and the public about thyroid cancer.
  • Volunteers in more than 100 local ThyCa support groups in the United States, Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, and Philippines, are providing telephone and e-mail support and holding support group meetings.
  • Around the world, thyroid cancer survivors, caregivers, and friends are wearing Neck Check shirts, awareness wristbands, and pins, and giving awareness materials to their friends and families.

Two special events this September are:

  • The 16th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference, September 27-29, 2013, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, featuring more than 100 sessions with more than 40 experts, and with scholarships available on request to cover the registration fee 
  • The Virtual 5K for Thyroid Cancer Awareness and Research Fundraising, offering everyone the opportunity to take part from home, with details on ThyCa’s web site at

More details are on the Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month page on our website.

Since 1995, the nonprofit ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. has been providing free support and information on thyroid cancer. Hundreds of pages of thyroid cancer information and free downloadable materials are available in English, Chinese, French, Japanese, and Spanish on ThyCa’s web site, Free materials, support, and information are available year-round, by e-mailing, calling toll free 1-877-588-7904, faxing to 1-630-604-6078, writing to ThyCa, PO Box 1545, New York, NY 10159-1545, or visiting our website.

Contact: Cherry Wunderlich, 301-493-8810,,
Director of Publications and Outreach, ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.
Founder and Sponsor of Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month