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October 1, 2021 46 min

University of Chicago Medicine researchers Briseis Aschebrook-Kilfoy, PhD, assistant research professor in epidemiology, and Raymon Grogan, MD, assistant professor of surgery lead the North American Thyroid Cancer Survivorship Study (NATCSS).

For their most recent research, Aschebrook-Kilfoy and Grogan recruited 1,174 thyroid cancer survivors – 89.9 percent female with an average age of 48

After treatment, thyroid cancer survivors face a lifetime of cancer surveillance and an anxiety-inducing high rate of recurrence, which could contribute to their findings.

"The goal of this study is to turn it into a long-term, longitudinal cohort," said Grogan, who hopes to develop a tool that physicians can use to assess the psychological wellbeing of thyroid cancer survivors. "But, there was no way to do that with thyroid cancer because no one had ever studied quality of life or psychology of thyroid cancer before.”

In this episode, we will explore:

The spiritual, social, psychological, and physical impacts of thyroid cancer.  Some of the sometimes over-looked physical impacts include dry mouth, voice problems, dry eyes, dental problems, fatigue, dry skin,  and hypoglycemia.  

What happens to vocal cords after surgery?  Even when not paralyzed, quality of voice is effected. 

Often times, family members don't take treatment seriously.  Society, healthcare professionals, and the media have minimized thyroid cancer, and in return has made patients feel minimized.

Anxiety about reoccurrence, RAI treatment, and self-concept, influence quality of life for thyroid cancer patients.

A 2011 study by Aschebrook-Kilfoy and Grogan found that thyroid cancer, which is most common in women, will double in incidence by 2019.

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