Thyroid cancer diagnoses have spiked for U.S. women this past decade.
That's why it's essential to pay attention to this small gland at the base of your neck. The thyroid is an important part of your endocrine system, producing a hormone that helps control metabolism.
"While there is no known way to prevent thyroid cancer, some things that may help to maintain thyroid health are the lifestyle choices you make," said endocrine surgeons Dr. Amanda Laird and Dr. Toni Beninato, of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick.
Thyroid disorders can range from a small, harmless goiter (an enlarged gland) to cancer that may need to be treated with radioactive iodine or surgery.
Laird and Beninato offered these tips for good thyroid health:
Masses in the neck should be evaluated first with a physical exam. Then your doctor can decide whether further testing is needed.
An ultrasound may be done to evaluate thyroid masses, followed by a biopsy, depending on the results.
Laird and Beninato recommended seeing a provider familiar with the latest advances in genetic counseling and testing if your family has a history of thyroid cancer.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more information on thyroid cancer.
SOURCE: Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, news release, Jan. 3, 2022