September is dedicated to thyroid cancer and PASYKAF carries out an awareness campaign with the message “Detect it early” to raise public awareness to seek preventive screening for prevention and early detection.
Throughout Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, PASYKAF encourages all citizens to request a clinical throat screening when they visit their doctor. Checking the neck can be done quickly.
At the same time, PASYKAF invites people with experience with thyroid cancer who would like to contribute to improving the quality of life of patients with thyroid cancer and safeguarding their rights, to join the PASYKAF Thyroid Group, which consists of people with experience with thyroid cancer gland created by the Association. For registration and further information, the public can visit the PASYKAF page https://pasykaf.org/el-thyroid-cancer/.
Thyroid cancer is usually curable if detected early. Some types and variants are however aggressive and difficult to treat. People of all ages, from children to the elderly, can be affected by the disease, requiring lifelong daily medication and periodic examinations after treatment.
In Cyprus, according to the Cancer Registry, in 2019 there were 230 new cases of thyroid cancer in women and 78 in men, reaching a total of 308 cases. Thyroid cancer is the 2nd most common cancer in women and the 6th most common in men in Cyprus. Additionally, this cancer is more common in women and can appear even at a young age. Data recorded by the Cancer Registry shows that the ages most affected are between 35 and 59 years old.
Symptoms of thyroid cancer include the presence of a lump or enlarged glands in the neck and pain in the area, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or a change in voice. These are signs of a possible thyroid nodule. Most thyroid nodules are benign, but some of them are cancer. In most cases this cancer is asymptomatic and cases are diagnosed incidentally, however it is important that people who may notice any of these symptoms, should immediately contact an endocrinologist for a medical evaluation.
Additional risk factors include age, heredity and family history, radiation exposure (mainly to the head and neck during childhood), obesity, history of diabetes, and lack of iodine in the diet.
The campaign is part of the Thyroid Cancer Control Program of PASYKAF and is carried out with the cooperation of the Cypriot Endocrinological Society and the support of OPAP CYPRUS.