Rose Medical Center September 05, 2017



Dan Mager
Manager, Marketing & Public Affairs
Rose Medical Center
Office: 303.320.2817

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month:
Thyroid Cancer Fastest Growing in Women

Denver, Colo. – September 5, 2017 – September is thyroid cancer awareness month, bringing to light the importance of early detection and recent increased incidence of the disease.

Thyroid cancer is the fastest increasing cancer in the United States—tripling over the last 30 years. It affects people of all ages, but nearly three out of four cases are found in women. While thyroid cancer is usually treatable if found early, some types and variants are aggressive and difficult to treat.

That’s why the experts at the Rose Thyroid and Parathyroid Center encourage people to be aware of lumps that may appear in the neck, both in general and in routine exams with a physician.

“Much like any screening exam, people should be aware of what their neck should feel like and recognize when something feels off,” explained Dr. Kimberly Vanderveen, MD, MAS, FACS, Medical Director of the Rose Thyroid and Parathyroid Center.

Though US Preventative Medicine Task force recommended that routine screening for thyroid cancer be abandoned in May 2017, physical examination of the thyroid and neck as part of a normal wellness exam is still important and may have separate value in identifying other thyroid problems that affect hormone production, as well as abnormal lymph nodes or vascular diseases outside of the thyroid

Additionally, Dr. Vanderveen encourages everyone to alert their doctor if they have experienced any symptoms such as enlarging lump or mass on the lower neck or side of the neck, hoarseness or change in your voice, pressure or tightness in lower neck or difficulty swallowing. If you feel a lump, get into your doctor right away.

Most thyroid nodules are benign, not thyroid cancer. However, early detection, prompt treatment and lifelong follow-up save lives. Thyroid cancer treatment is very advanced, with patient receiving individualized assessments and plan for treatment. And as their health changes over long-term surveillance, if things change, the “threat level” and treatment plan can change.  Patients now get classified as “Low”, “Low-Intermediate”, “Intermediate” and “High” risk (think: green, yellow, orange, red!).  Treatment decisions such as the extent of surgery (not everyone needs their whole thyroid removed), radioactive iodine treatments, thyroid hormone dosing, monitoring plans and imaging protocols are now based on this system.  Also, a patient can switch categories based on their treatment response.   

Rose Medical Center is home to the largest thyroid and parathyroid program in Denver, and is deeply experienced in recognizing, diagnosing and treating thyroid and parathyroid disease. The Center has pioneered newly streamlined diagnostic imaging procedures to make diagnosis less time consuming cumbersome on the patient. Resources are available on the Rose Thyroid & Parathyroid website, including videos detailing how to perform a thyroid self-check and our experts debunking common thyroid myths.

“September was designated Thyroid Cancer Awareness month in 2003,” adds Dr. Vanderveen. “This month is designed to be a time that we can focus our efforts on making sure the community is aware of this disease and what can be done to manage it.”

About Rose Medical Center

Well known as a Denver institution and a 9th Avenue landmark for nearly 70 years, Rose Medical Center has earned its reputation as Denver's "Baby Hospital" while becoming a leader in comprehensive women's care, orthopedics and total joint replacement, heart and vascular care, weight-loss treatment, cancer care, surgical services, internal medicine and emergency care. With origins in Jewish teachings, traditions and community, Rose’s founders built this hospital to “serve the need of every creed.” By offering a high level of expertise and service across all disciplines, Rose has truly become a destination hospital, attracting patients from throughout Colorado and around the world. Learn more at