Free thyroid evaluations offered

Free thyroid evaluations will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 3 to 6 p.m., at Nebraska Medicine-Nebraska Medical Center, 42nd and Emile streets, to mark Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month.

Space is limited. Registration is required. To register for the free screening, call 800-922-0000.

More than 62,400 cases of thyroid cancer will be diagnosed this year, according to the American Cancer Society. All ages are at risk and women are three times more at risk than men. Diagnosis most commonly occurs between 20 and 55 years old. Risk factors for thyroid cancer include a family history of thyroid cancer as well as previous radiation to the neck.

Thyroid cancer usually develops in a nodule or growth in the thyroid, however, there are often no symptoms from thyroid cancer. Thyroid blood tests are not recommended to identify thyroid cancer. Initial evaluation is to have a thyroid and neck examination to identify thyroid enlargement or nodules or abnormal lymph nodes or neck masses. Rarely, thyroid cancer can be associated with symptoms which can include: difficulty swallowing, breathing, and hoarseness. People may also notice a swollen lymph node or lump in the front or side of the neck themselves.

Thyroid cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women but is treatable and often cured with surgery with or without radioactive iodine therapy. Even more advanced cancers have safe and effective treatment options.

“Rates of thyroid cancer have been increasing in recent years, which could be in part due to better detection, but could also be due to a true overall rise in thyroid cancer. Since thyroid cancer is often silent in early stages, we would like to raise awareness about thyroid nodules and the risks associated with thyroid cancer,” said Whitney Goldner, M.D., Nebraska Medicine endocrinologist.

Free valet parking is available in the circle drive of the Lied Transplant Center’s main entrance just west of 42nd and Emile streets. A volunteer will escort you to the evaluation and back to valet services.

wTa jh