Why You Should Stop Calling Thyroid Cancer ‘Good Cancer’
A thyroid cancer diagnosis has a strange reputation: It’s cancer, but with a near 100 percent survival rate when caught in the early stages, it’s one of the “good” cancers, as many doctors and even other survivors will tell you.
But Alan Ho, M.D., Ph.D., thinks that categorization is a common misunderstanding of people who have never had thyroid cancer nor treated it. Ho is a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center who specializes in malignancies like thyroid cancer. In a phone call, he told HuffPost that focusing on the cancer’s “excellent” survival rate eclipses the hardships patients go through in their treatment and lifelong maintenance of the disease.
“You can recognize some of the positives about the survival numbers for thyroid, but that can’t allow us to be dismissive of the true hardships and costs that patients have to go through,” said Ho. Like all cancers, there isn’t just one type of thyroid cancer, which means there isn’t one type of cure. Treatment can include surgery, radiation (usually radioactive iodine treatment), chemotherapy and hormone therapy. None of these therapies is a walk in the park; surgery has low risks of bleeding, infection and nerve damage; radiation can mess with —> Read More Here