World Thyroid Day Recognized Globally On May 25th the American Thyroid Association (ATA) (www.thyroid.org), in cooperation with the European Thyroid Association (www.eurothyroid.com), will be making an extraordinary effort to promote its year-round goals —focus attention on that small butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck that causes approximately 20 million Americans to experience thyroid disease. In addition to the millions who have some form of thyroid disease, it is estimated that more than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime.
The important goal of the ATA and our sister thyroid organizations is to get the word out about Thyroid! Perhaps the most stunning statistics are that up to 60 percent of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition and that women are five to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems. Almost everyone knows someone affected by thyroid disease or thyroid cancer and the ATA is proud to promote international awareness on World Thyroid Day so that symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions are available around the globe. If you or someone you know are experiencing thyroid symptoms, make an appointment to see a thyroid specialist – you can find one in your area (in the US and internationally) by using the ATA Physician Referral Tool and you can read up on the thyroid educational materials in the ATA Thyroid Information Library.
The ATA is the leading organization devoted to thyroid biology and to the prevention and treatment of thyroid disease through excellence in research, clinical care, education, and public health. Our mission assures that we communicate the importance of the thyroid gland, which produces hormones that influence every cell, tissue, and organ in the body. Thyroid hormones regulate the body’s metabolism—the rate at which the body produces energy from nutrients and oxygen—and affect critical body functions, such as energy level and heart rate. Through its mission, the ATA supports the clinicians and researchers who are at the frontlines of thyroid treatments and research. We also work with the public, patients, and their families to educate and increase awareness of thyroid diseases.
ATA member of 29 years, Dr Gregory Brent – Chair, Department of Medicine from the University of California-Los Angeles says that “The ATA has been my professional home since my fellowship and it has been a privilege to serve with my many valued colleagues and with such a committed and talented staff. I am most grateful to my mentors, who have encouraged and guided me. The professional and personal growths I have experienced from my involvement with the ATA are immeasurable.”
The ATA Patient Thyroid Information library is just a few clicks away on the ATA website – http://www.thyroid.org/thyroid-information/ and we encourage you to check back regularly for updates and new materials. We are also pleased to offer many of our brochures in Spanish – http://www.thyroid.org/informacion-sobre-la-tiroides/ and provide a translator on the website for most languages. The ATA website provides easy-to-access, patient-friendly information on topics such as:
Hypothyroidism: One of the most common thyroid conditions that occur when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Symptoms include fatigue, depression, forgetfulness, irregular menses and weight gain. Treatment of hypothyroidism is usually with a synthetic form of thyroid hormone called “levothyroxine.” Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease affecting the thyroid is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the US, affecting mostly women. Diagnosis is usually confirmed by symptoms suggesting thyroid underactivity, positive anti-thyroid antibodies, and small goiter (thyroid enlargement) on physical examination. Patients with an elevated blood level of TSH and/or goiter are treated with thyroxine (T4).
On the opposite side of the spectrum is Hyperthyroidism and this occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. Symptoms include irritability, nervousness, muscle weakness, unexplained weight loss, sleep disturbances, vision problems and eye irritation. One type of hyperthyroidism, Graves’ disease, is an autoimmune disorder that is partly genetic.
In addition to these common thyroid conditions, we also know that Thyroid Cancer is the most rapidly increasing form of cancer in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates 58,670 new cases of thyroid cancer will be diagnosed in 2017 resulting in approximately 2,000 deaths. When thyroid cancer is identified and treated early, the majority of patients can be completely cured.
Mary Catherine Petermann whose father was diagnosed with Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer in 2006 describes how the ATA impacted her search for help, “The ATA was a valuable resource for our family when my dad was diagnosed with Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer. When you are faced with a detrimental diagnosis where even a few days can make the difference in life or death, understanding your options quickly is critical. The ATA website offers a one-stop shop for patients and caregivers to find specialists, current clinical trials, general thyroid cancer information, and links to other patient support groups and information” Mary Catherine’s father was treated by ATA member physicians at Mayo Clinic and has clean scans as of October 2016.
For thyroid cancer, Endocrinologists can sometimes employ minimally invasive procedures to distinguish thyroid cancer from benign thyroid nodules, which are common in the population. The ATA produces management guidelines for thyroid diseases and thyroid cancer, which, are open to the public and can be accessed on the ATA website here: https://www.thyroid.org/professionals/ata-professional-guidelines/
We invite and encourage you to take a moment on the 25th of May, World Thyroid Day, to help ATA continue to serve patients, families, and the physicians to treat them by making a donation on the ATA World Thyroid Day Donation Page: https://www.crowdrise.com/2017-world-thyroid-day
Your donation will help ATA continue the important work of education, research, and awareness of this most important disease. No donation is too small and if you would like to make a recurring donation throughout the year, please visit this page: https://www.givedirect.org/donate/?cid=723 and select frequency that is good for you.
Your interest and support help make a positive impact on the lives of so many who struggle with thyroid conditions and thyroid cancer every day and we thank you for joining us and helping carry-out the ATA mission!
The American Thyroid Association (ATA) is the leading worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement, understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorders and thyroid cancer. ATA is an international individual membership organization for over 1,700 clinicians and researchers from 43 countries around the world, representing a broad diversity of medical disciplines. It also serves the public, patients and their family through education and awareness efforts
Celebrating its 94th anniversary, ATA delivers its mission through several key endeavors: the publication of highly regarded monthly journals, THYROID, Clinical Thyroidology, VideoEndocrinology and Clinical Thyroidology for the Public; annual scientific meetings; biennial clinical and research symposia; research grant programs for young investigators, support of online professional, public and patient educational programs; and the development of guidelines for clinical management of thyroid disease.