Many people who have been diagnosed with serious illnesses often wish they had known about the warning signs of their diagnosis. In most cases, if their disease had been discovered earlier, their chances of recovery would have improved greatly. For those seeking to identify possible concerns sooner, a new screening that can be done within the comfort of your own home has been determined, and if you see this on your neck, it could mean serious trouble.
Cancer is a horrible disease that has taken far too many lives. Although there are many different types of cancer, in 2015 alone, there have been 62,450 new cases of thyroid cancer diagnoses. Fortunately, there is a new do-it-yourself thyroid screening check that can help get an early diagnosis, and it all can be done at home.
“The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck,” according to Little Things. “Hormones produced by the thyroid affect all parts of the body, from your metabolism and temperature, to your heartbeat and energy levels.” Of course, as is all things with the human body, it’s a bit more complicated than that. You see, a thyroid can either function at a normal level, overactive (produces too much thyroid hormone), or underactive (produces too little thyroid hormone). So, symptoms alone can be misleading.
To help determine the overall health of your thyroid and to perform the at-home thyroid check, all you need is a glass of water and a mirror. While tilting your head back in front of the mirror, you simply take a sip of water and swallow. As the water goes down your throat, check the mirror for any bulges or swelling. To ensure you are looking at the right area, your thyroid is lower down on your neck, closer to where your collarbone sits, beneath your Adam’s apple.
If you do see something unusual, don’t immediately freak out. Sometimes people can by diagnosed with a goiter (a lump in your thyroid) or it can simply be enlarged. So, further testing would be needed to determine the cause of any lumps or enlargement, as it may not necessarily be cancer.
Should it unfortunately be determined to be cancer, early detection will help your prognosis.
“No cancer is safe and thyroid cancer is no exception,” explains thyroid cancer specialist Park Cheong-soo, according to Korea Times. “Thyroid cancer may not be dangerous for the first five to 10 years after diagnosis but it can suddenly become life-threatening as it spreads to other parts of the body.”
Remember, if you do see any irregularities, do not panic. It could merely be an enlarged thyroid, thyroid nodules, or something completely unrelated. Regardless, if something appears to stand out, make an appointment to get it checked to make sure it isn’t anything serious.
It’s better to have tried the neck check and found something than to wish you had an opportunity to notice something was wrong before it was too late. So, grab a loved one and a glass of water, then check each other over to make sure there isn’t anything to worry about. We only get to live once, it’s better to live on the safe side than to live being sorry that you hadn’t.