National Thyroid Cancer Awareness Week is a significant annual event observed in the Philippines during the last week in September. This campaign aims to raise awareness about thyroid cancer, thyroid health, educate the public about thyroid cancers and disorders, and promote early detection and treatment.
So what exactly is a thyroid? The thyroid gland, though small in size, plays a crucial role in maintaining our overall health, making it essential for every Filipino to understand its significance. Located in the neck, the thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate various bodily functions, including metabolism, energy production, and body temperature. Unfortunately, thyroid disorders are widespread around the world, affecting millions of individuals, with women being more susceptible than men. In the Philippines, the incidence of thyroid disorders has been steadily increasing. Sadly, thyroid cancer is the most common cancer of the endocrine system in the Philippines, making Thyroid Cancer Awareness Week more important than ever.
One of the primary objectives of this awareness week is to educate the public about thyroid cancer, and to recognise the signs early and seek medical help. Worryingly, there are often no obvious signs of thyroid cancer, however you may have one or more of the following symptoms:
- a lump in the neck or throat that may get bigger over time
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swollen lymph glands in the neck
- a hoarse voice
Screening and early detection are vital components of thyroid awareness. Thyroid tests, which measure levels of thyroid hormones in the blood, can help diagnose thyroid disorders. Routine screenings can be especially crucial for pregnant women, as thyroid disorders can affect both the mother and the developing baby.
Furthermore, Thyroid Cancer Awareness Week provides a platform for healthcare professionals and patient support groups to share information and resources with the public. Seminars, webinars, and workshops are organised to help individuals better understand thyroid health and cancer management. These events empower patients to take control of their health and make informed decisions about their treatment options.
Thyroid cancer is caused by inherited genetic defects, so genetic testing for your predisposition to this deadly disease might be an avenue that you’d like to explore. EasyDNA Philippines offers the Specialised Inherited Male & Female Cancer Panels test, which establishes your genetic risk of hereditary cancers. This cancer panel test looks for a total of 79 Genes for the male panel and 74 Genes for the female panel. Genetic testing is the only way to confirm whether you carry certain hereditary gene mutations that may be responsible for certain cancers. This screening test can be used to identify gene mutations responsible for hereditary cancers within the family and to determine which family members may be at risk.
In addition to raising awareness, Thyroid Cancer Awareness Week encourages Filipinos to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Proper nutrition, regular exercise, and stress management can all contribute to maintaining optimal thyroid function. By making these simple lifestyle changes, individuals can reduce their risk of developing thyroid disorders and improve their overall well-being.
Your thyroid health is important! Get on board this September, and take the opportunity to learn more about this little gland and take positive, proactive steps toward better thyroid health.