Qatar’s public healthcare providers along with Qatar Cancer Society are working together to raise awareness of thyroid cancer through public engagement and media activities, in recognition of Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, observed every year in April.
The aim of this collaboration is to raise awareness of thyroid cancer in Qatar, highlighting the signs and symptoms of the disease to increase public understanding of the importance of prevention and early detection, as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of this disease.
Thyroid cancer is the second most common cancer among the female population in Qatar and it accounted for 53 new cases (8.63%) according to the QNCR 2015 Annual Report.
The Thyroid Multi-Disciplinary Team at Hamad Medical Corp (HMC) diagnosed 63 females with thyroid cancer in 2018.
Catherine Gillespie, director of the National Cancer Programme, highlighted the continuing collaboration between the Ministry of Public Health and the providers of healthcare across the country to help raise awareness of thyroid cancer.
“Individuals diagnosed with thyroid cancers have a very high chance of successful treatment. As with many cancers, it is important that a diagnosis is made at an early stage of the disease. Working together with our colleagues, we aim to ensure an awareness of the disease and encourage people who are worried they may be experiencing symptoms to see their primary healthcare physician” said Gillespie.
Dr Mohamed Salem al-Hassan, chair of the Thyroid MDT, HMC said: “Most thyroid cancers are very curable; thyroid cancer can occur in any age group, although it is most common after the age of 30 and its aggressiveness increases significantly in older patients. Approximately 1.2% of all men and women will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer during the course of their lifetime. Less than 1% of all thyroid nodules are cancerous in nature and the five-year survivorship is 98%. The Thyroid MDT at HMC provides a comprehensive multi-disciplinary approach to the management of thyroid cancer.”
“If the physicians identify any likelihood of thyroid cancer, the patient will be referred to HMC within 48 hours for an immediate action — where experienced staff with the right expertise to conduct the appropriate investigations and management will see the patient,” said Dr Shaikha Abu Shaikha, manager of Screening Programmes, Primary Health Care Corporation.
Symptoms of thyroid cancer include unexplained swelling of the neck, rapid growth of neck lump and unexplained changes in the voice.
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