Tag Archive for: thyroid conditions

Is There a Gender Disparity in Thyroid Cancer?

Is There a Gender Disparity in Thyroid Cancer? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Is there a thyroid cancer gender disparity? Expert Dr. Megan Haymart from the University of Michigan discusses the incidence rate of thyroid conditions and thyroid cancer in men versus women and proactive patient advice for those who feel dismissed or unsupported.

[ACT]IVATION TIP

“…if patients feel like they’re being dismissed, if they’re anxious, if they’re worried, if they’re stressed, if they feel like their questions aren’t being answered, you can always get a second opinion or see someone else.”

See More from [ACT]IVATED Thyroid Cancer

Related Resources:

Thyroid Cancer Explained: Types, Staging, and Patient Communication

Thyroid Cancer Explained: Types, Staging, and Patient Communication

Overcoming Thyroid Cancer Care Barriers

Overcoming Thyroid Cancer Care Barriers

Understanding Thyroid Cancer Treatment Options and Follow-Up Care

Understanding Thyroid Cancer Treatment Options and Follow-Up Care

Transcript:

Lisa Hatfield:

Dr. Haymart, how does the prevalence of thyroid cancer differ between men and women, and what factors contribute to this gender disparity?

Dr. Megan Haymart:

So about 70 to 75 percent of all thyroid cancer cases occur in women. And this is very similar to other endocrine diseases, especially other thyroid conditions. So hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, those are also more common in women. And so we think that the reason for this is probably multifactorial. So one, there’s probably something about thyroid conditions in a biologic level that differs between men and women.

We also think that there can be some screening bias, meaning that women are more likely to see doctors. They might be more likely to have neck ultrasounds. Some of these thyroid cancers that are picked up are really small and maybe shouldn’t have been picked up. And so I think it’s probably multifactorial.

Something that my patients sometimes tell me and I totally believe them, and I just want everyone to be aware because it’s a lot of females and it’s also very commonly young females. So thyroid cancer is the most common cancer in individuals aged 15 to 33. The median age of thyroid cancer patients is about 50. Sometimes patients feel that their worry and concern about their cancer is dismissed and so I want them to know that they’re not alone.

You know it’s very stressful especially for younger patients who are at a transition point in their life, related to college, related to starting new jobs, related to starting a family, all their friends are healthy and they get a cancer diagnosis, it can be very stressful and overwhelming. And so if you’re worried, if you’re stressed, that’s normal. Patients shouldn’t feel bad about that. No one should make them feel bad about it.

So even though most patients are going to do great with this cancer, it is still a cancer diagnosis. It does still impact patients’ lives and that word cancer can be very stressful. So I just don’t want patients to feel alone if they feel like they’re being dismissed or people don’t realize how stressful that diagnosis could be.

So my activation tip for this is if patients feel like they’re being dismissed, if they’re anxious, if they’re worried, if they’re stressed, if they feel like their questions aren’t being answered, you can always get a second opinion or see someone else. So that’s one thing. And my other activation tip for this is that if they feel like they’re not getting the answers or the support from their physician, there are other online resources that are available that can also help with worry and stress related to a cancer diagnosis.