Determined to Cure: Thyroid Cancer

The mother of a friend of mine, who founded the 'Purple Feather Society' to raise awareness about childhood cancer, was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I wanted to dedicate a post about this cancer to my friend and her family, especially considering September is thyroid cancer awareness month.
Thyroid cancer is an uncommon type of cancer that occurs when abnormal cells grow in the thyroid gland. This gland, located in the front of the neck and shaped like a butterfly, produces hormones that regulate how the body uses energy and help the body function normally.

Thyroid cancer is usually found early and treatments are often very effective. Exposure to radiation is the one of the only known causes. There are no known ways to prevent thyroid cancer, except limiting radiation exposure.
There are several symptoms of thyroid cancer:

Diagram showing stage N1a thyroid cancer

  • A lump or swelling in your neck
  • Pain in your neck and sometimes in your ears
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Trouble breathing or constant wheezing
  • Hoarse voice
  • Frequent cough that is not related to a cold

Some people may not have any symptoms, and the cancer can be found if doctors find a lump or nodule in the neck during a routine physical exam.
If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to get them checked by a doctor. 
By working together, we can end thyroid cancer. And eventually, we can end all cancer.

Be determined to cure the incurable. I am.

Take care,

Jack Andraka - Pancreatic Cancer Pioneer

Jack Andraka, a 16-year-old from Maryland, US, won the $75 000 2012 Gordon E. Moore Award, the grand prize of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair after he developed a new, rapid, and inexpensive method to detect early-stage pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancer.

Check out Jack Andraka's priceless reaction to the award.

Jack's test will significantly increase detection of early-stage cancer, which will result in much-improved outcomes. The test costs only $5, allowing wide access to this life-saving test.

"If a 15-year-old who didn't know what a pancreas was could figure out a way to detect pancreatic cancer, imagine what you could do."

Jack's inspiration and ambition is an inspiration to everyone. His innovation is a sure step towards a cure for pancreatic cancer and, eventually, cancer in general.

What will you do to make a difference?

Take care,