Health Stories

Finding Her Voice - Thyroid Cancer

On Valentine’s Day in 2007, Kim was told that not only did she have cancer but that she may never sing again. Over the course of two years, Kim had multiple surgeries and radioactive iodine to eradicate what numerous health care professionals referred to as “the good cancer”. Afflicting mostly young (<50 yo) women, thyroid cancer is predicted to decrease in 2019, but death rates are expected to increase by 5.3% for this relatively unknown and unspoken disease. Kim notes, “I feel like an outsider in the world of cancer survivors because my cancer was so different, the treatment was so different…” from social constructions of ‘cancer’. Kim reminds people of the ThyCA (Thyroid Cancer Survivor’s Association) mantra, “Get your neck checked”. Tips for others? Kim suggests showing empathy and compassion toward others when delivering a diagnosis—a good rule of thumb for all health care professionals. For others with thyroid cancer, Kim recommends finding an otolaryngologist, a subspecialty surgeon that deals with conditions of the head and neck. Most importantly, find a surgeon that you feel comfortable with, support from others with thyroid cancer

Brought to you by Nicole Defenbaugh of Health Stories