Harrisburg — The Senate today unanimously adopted a Senate resolution sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) to raise awareness about the fastest-growing form of cancer – thyroid cancer.
The resolution designates September 2012 as “Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.
Scarnati, a thyroid cancer survivor, said it was important to approve the measure in June before the Senate recesses for the summer. “Several years ago I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and thanks to the excellent treatment I received by physicians in Pittsburgh, I have made a full recovery” said Scarnati.
“The chances of being diagnosed with thyroid cancer have risen in recent years and have more than doubled since 1990,” said Scarnati. “The good news is that it is highly treatable when detected early. It’s my hope that ‘Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month’ will get the word out on how important it is to see a doctor if symptoms occur.”
Increased risks for thyroid cancer can include a family history and diet that is low in iodine. Dr. David Goldenberg, Professor of Surgery and Oncology and Director of Head and Neck Surgery at Penn State Hershey Medical Center has also conducted studies finding that exposure to radiation is also a proven risk factor for thyroid cancer.
Thyroid cancer symptoms can include a lump or nodule in the front of the neck, hoarseness or difficulty speaking, swollen lymph nodes, difficulty swallowing or breathing, and pain in the neck or throat.
It is the most common endocrine cancer, occurring about three times more often in women than men. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be approximately 56,460 new cases of thyroid cancer in the U.S. in 2012.