Carly Flumer

Carly Flumer

Thyroid Cancer Empowerment Lead

Carly Flumer was diagnosed with stage I papillary thyroid cancer at the age of 27.  She received her Master’s degree from Boston University in Health Communication and Bachelor’s from George Mason University in Health Administration and Policy. While being diagnosed with the “C” word at such a young age was a surprise, as it would be to anyone, she found strength, support, and inspiration in sharing her cancer journey on social media. As a result of her health outcome, she looks to advocate for other cancer patients through education, research, and health literacy. Carly serves as our Thyroid Cancer Empowerment Lead at PEN, where she intends to pay it forward by advocating for others.

Connect with Carly Flumer, our Thyroid Cancer Empowerment Lead

What type of cancer and stage?

A: Thyroid; Variant: Papillary, classical type; Stage: I with metastases to lymph nodes

What was your treatment path?

A: Two partial lobectomies and one round of radioactive iodine therapy; Ongoing treatment: Levothyroxine

As a PEN Empowerment Lead, what are your interests and how are you helping other patients?

A: Patient education, patient-provider communication, policy, health literacy, adolescent and young adult outcomes/quality of life (all in the context of cancer).

Most frequently asked question: How has cancer affected your life?

A: Cancer has affected my life in a number of ways, both negative and positive. Looking at the negative, most people don’t understand what going through cancer is like, so it’s hard for me to explain the way I feel and know that my feelings are understood. I also experience depression, anxiety, hair loss, fatigue, and fluctuations in body temperature and mood. One thing I wish more people would understand is symptoms don’t stop once you enter survivorship. It’s an ongoing battle. On the other hand, there have many silver linings of having cancer. I found my passion in helping other cancer patients through different avenues, I’ve made friends and joined communities of people who “get it,” and I found new strength in who I am as a person.

Toxic Positivity: A Detriment to Disease
The Power of Shared-Decision Making: A New Revolution of Care
Thyroid Awareness: January and Beyond
Psychosocial and Emotional Impact of Cancer: Change on Career Plans
The Basics and Why They Aren't The Basics of Clinical Trials
Finding Value in Your Care: Take Action Checklist
Managing Medical Mistrust
Involving Patients in their Care The Clinical Trial and Drug Development Processes
Empowering One Another: Helping Your Healthcare Team Help You
Coming Into Your Own: Receiving Support as an AYA Cancer Patient
Guiding the Cancer Community: What It Means to be a Patient Leader
Survivor or Surviving? Deciphering the Words Used to Describe Cancer Patients
Embracing Telehealth: Protecting Our Data in a Medical Revolution
A Look at 2021 Healthcare Trends 
“Wait, There’s a Good Cancer?”
The Caregiver Impact: A Vital Part of Healthcare
Empowering Ourselves Forward: Applying Skills to Our Cancer Journey
Reaching the Peak: Finding Resilience During Cancer
Cancer: The Scariest Ride of Them All
Health Exercises to Tap Into Your Resiliency
How to Make the Most of a Virtual Visit
The Value of Patient Communities
Thyroid Cancer Network Manager
Putting the Human Back in Healthcare
Deceived But Not Defeated