Thyroid Awareness Month: Learn About Thyroid Health and Signs of Cancer

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January is Thyroid Awareness Month and this morning at 6:45, FOX40 will be talking with the Chief of Endocrinology for Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento, Dr. Craig Smith, about thyroid health.

The thyroid gland makes hormones that regulate the way your body uses energy.

Thyroid cancer is a disease that forms when abnormal cells begin to grow on the butterfly shaped gland located at the front of your neck.

Kaiser says this type of cancer is usually caught early, making it easier to treat. Experts do not know what causes thyroid cancer but people who have been exposed to a lot of radiation have a higher chance of getting thyroid cancer.

Doctors say if you want to be proactive in keeping your thyroid healthy, an iodine sufficient diet is important -- seafood, shellfish, dairy products, iodized salt or sea salt.  Consider taking an iodine supplement (multivitamin).

Possible Symptoms: 

  • You may get a lump or swelling in your neck. This is the most common symptom.
  • You may have pain in your neck and sometimes in your ears.
  • You may have trouble swallowing.
  • You may have trouble breathing or have constant wheezing.
  • Your voice may be hoarse.
  • You may have a frequent cough that is not related to a cold.


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