SOURCE: American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
JACKSONVILLE, FL--(Marketwire - Sep 19, 2012) - With the number of new thyroid cancer cases in Americans more than tripling since 2000 and an estimated 56,000 new cases projected to be identified in the U.S. in 2012, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) is intensifying its efforts to promote awareness of the disease during Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month (September).
A small, butterfly-shaped gland found just below the Adam's apple, the thyroid is part of the endocrine system and produces hormones that control and regulate energy consumption in essentially every organ, tissue and cell in the body.
Many patients, especially in the early stages of thyroid cancer, do not experience symptoms. However, as the cancer grows, signs can include a lump or nodule in the front of the neck and such symptoms as hoarseness and difficulty swallowing or breathing.
"A positive outcome with thyroid cancer is very achievable when the cancer is detected early by a physician experienced in diagnosing and treating the disease," said R. Mack Harrell, M.D., AACE vice president and a pioneer in the field of integrative endocrine surgery, where specially trained endocrinologists and surgeons use high-resolution office-based ultrasound to diagnose thyroid cancer and develop collaborative plans for surgical removal and possible further treatment with radioactive iodine.
"Because patients with thyroid cancer often notice no symptoms until the disease has progressed, our goal is to educate the American public regarding the importance of reporting new neck lumps to their primary care physicians," Dr. Harrell added. "If the primary care doctor cannot diagnose the cause of a neck lump, prompt referral to an endocrinology expert is imperative."
As part of its awareness initiative, AACE also sponsors www.thyroidawareness.com, a comprehensive consumer education website covering a wide range of thyroid diseases and conditions.
"As endocrine experts, our ultimate goal is to ensure that all cases of thyroid cancer are properly diagnosed and treated, and public education is essential to that effort," Dr. Harrell noted.
To download a high quality version of Dr. Harrell's thyroid cancer awareness interview please visit the following link: http://www.westglen.com/online/aace_generic.mov.
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) represents more than 6,500 endocrinologists in the United States and abroad. AACE is the largest association of clinical endocrinologists in the world. The majority of AACE members are certified in Endocrinology and Metabolism and concentrate on the treatment of patients with endocrine and metabolic disorders including diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, growth hormone deficiency, cholesterol disorders, hypertension and obesity. For more information, visit the AACE website at www.aace.com, become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/theaace or follow AACE on Twitter at www.twitter.com/theaace.