Thyroid cancer on the rise

by Dr. Alan Christianson — 

Monthly neck self-exam? Yes — just like examanations of the breasts and testicles.

We have all heard of breast, prostate and colorectal cancers, but did you know that thyroid cancer is now the nation’s fastest growing type of cancer?

Recently released numbers show the annual rate of increase to be 6.5 percent per year over the last decade, drastically up from prior estimates of 2.5 percent. More than 37,000 cases were documented last year.

Adult screening for thyroid cancer consists of the following:

  1. Annual physical exam, including thyroid exam
  2. Annual blood tests, including thyroid function tests
  3. Monthly neck self-exam

Monthly neck self-exam? Yes — just like examanations of the breasts and testicles. The American Thyroid Association has stated that neck self-exams are important and can be done at the same time as other self-exams. See the box below for instructions.

What causes thyroid cancer and why are the incidences of it increasing? No one is completely sure at this point, but most experts believe that environmental toxins play a role. The thyroid works hard to pull in iodine for storage. In doing so, it also pulls in and concentrates iodine-like toxins from the environment. One of the worst, called methyl iodide, is now found on many commercial strawberries.

In 2007, the EPA loosened regulations and allowed for the use of iodine, despite a protest letter from 54 eminent scientists and physicians. Methyl iodide has been shown to cause thyroid cancer, brain damage and miscarriages. Many strawberries come from California, which may soon also allow for the use of methyl iodide.

The best way to protect yourself is to consume organic fruits and vegetables, especially avoiding the nonorganic varieties that tend to be laden with the most pesticide residues, such as strawberries, celery, peaches, apples, blueberries, bell peppers, potatoes, grapes and spinach.

Have a thorough annual physical and blood tests done. Do your neck self-exam.

Undergo detoxification annually. This is best done in conjunction with a doctor who can do before and after tests on your level of toxins to show that your outcome was successful.

Neck self-exam

  1. Using a mirror, watch your neck just below your Adam’s apple.
  2. Tip your head back slightly and take a drink of water. While swallowing, check for any bulges, widening or enlargement.
  3. Repeat once.
  4. If you notice anything suspicious, visit your doctor.

 

Dr. Alan Christianson is a naturopathic medical doctor who has been practicing for more than 14 years and has completed a textbook on thyroid disease for Penguin Press. He is the owner of Integrative Health Care in Scottsdale, Ariz. 480-657-0003 or www.integrativehealthcare.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 4, Aug/Sept 2010.

 

 

Neck self-exam

  1. Using a mirror, watch your neck just below your Adam’s apple.
  2. Tip your head back slightly and take a drink of water. While swallowing, check for any bulges, widening or enlargement.
  3. Repeat once.
  4. If you notice anything suspicious, visit your doctor.
, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Web Analytics