Save your neck
by Christine Coppa
You probably don’t give much thought to your thyroid, but the small butterfly-shaped gland in your necknormally measuring between 4 and 6 centimeters or 1.5 to 2.5 inches widehas a huge impact on your entire body. The thyroid produces thyroid hormone (TH), which regulates your body’s metabolism, heartbeat, temperature, mood, and other important processesreaching out to nearly every, single cell in your body. More than 30 million Americans have a thyroid disorder and an excess of 60,000 Americans are affected by thyroid cancer annually.
If you’re relatively young and otherwise healthy, you may not be too concerned with the “c” word. But I know from experience that thyroid cancer can blindside you: at age 33, I was diagnosed with the disease after my doctor discovered a lump in my neck at a routine annual physical. Here’s what you should know.