The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck, plays an important role in a person's well being. Like the pituitary gland, it is part of the endocrine system, which regulates specific body functions. The thyroid generates hormones that control the body's heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and metabolism. Thyroid cancer is extremely rare, accounting for about 1% of all cancer diagnosed. Fortunately for those with the disease, there's hope. Early detection, accurate diagnosis, precise treatment and scheduled follow-up can result in a healthy future. Some symptoms of thyroid cancer are a lump in your neck, difficulty swallowing and hoarseness of the voice. Thyroid cancer develops when cells of the thyroid grow uncontrollably. Most thyroid tumors are benign, which is non-cancerous. At the age of fifteen and a half my own battle with thyroid cancer began. In the following paragraphs I will explain to you my diagnosis, surgery, and treatment, therefore, you know a little about thyroid cancer also. .
First was the diagnosis. On August 12, 2000, I was eating lunch with my mother when she noticed a large lump in my throat when I swallowed. When we got home she called the doctor and made an appointment for September 13, 2000. I was just starting my sophomore year in high school so the appointment was made for Saturday. I did not want to miss school. At the appointment, my family doctor sent me to have an ultrasound of my neck and a fine needle biopsy. The ultrasound was not a big deal since all I had to do was lie there and the doctor basically scanned my neck. They were scanning to check the size of my tumor, which ended up being three centimeters and determine if the tumor was solid or liquid. The next step was the fine needle biopsy. It was a totally different story. To start off, I hated needles. When we got there, I tried to talk my mother out of making me go in there. Needless to say that did not work.