Thyroid Cancer AwarenessThyroid cancer is the most rapidly increasing cancer in the U.S. and has also been growing worldwide over the past few decades. This is the fifth most common cancer in women. September is observed as Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month and the month is dedicated to educating people about early detection and to providing information to survivors about treatment and available resources.

According to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures for 2014, this year, an estimated 62,980 adults (15,190 men and 47,790 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer. It is also estimated that 1,890 deaths (830 men and 1,060 women) will occur from this disease this year. The incidence rates of this cancer type in both women and men have been increasing in recent years, and researchers are working to figure out why.

Factors that can raise a person’s risk of developing thyroid cancer include gender, age, genetics and diet low in iodine. Symptoms of thyroid cancer are a lump or nodule in the font of the neck, hoarseness or difficulty speaking, swollen lymph nodes, difficulty swallowing or breathing or pain in the throat or neck. Papillary cancer is the most common type of cancer.

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is the test most commonly recommended to test thyroid function. Conventional TSH assays, though generally accepted as an important tool in the diagnosis of primary and secondary hypothyroidism, lack sensitivity and have limited clinical utility when it comes to assessing hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid). Leading manufacturers of hormone assays have therefore focused on producing TSH assays with superior diagnostic sensitivity. Take TSH, ultra, 96 Wells from DRG International Inc. Based on the principle of a solid phase enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, the Ultra-sensitive TSH ELISA (U-TSH) offers a sensitivity of 0.05 μIU/mL, allowing discrimination between hyperthyroid and normal patient populations. It is intended to quantitatively measure TSH in human serum with 2nd generation sensitivity. The U-TSH ELISA has proved effective in the assessment of thyroid status, and diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disease.

This Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, community group outreach, workplace displays, Facebook outreach, media outreach, educational events, support group meetings, and more will be initiated by volunteers worldwide to raise awareness about blood tests for the detection of thyroid conditions as well as available treatment options.