Carly Flumer

Thyroid Cancer Network Manager

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 Network manager at PEN, where she intends to pay it forward by advocating for others.

Connect with Carly Flumer, our Thyroid Network Manager carly@powerfulpatients.org

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 Network Manager, 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.