No Such Thing As "Good Cancer"
By Some of ThyCa's Lifetime Members
We've all heard it at one time or another: "If you have to get cancer, then this is the one to get." "Thyroid cancer is good cancer," and similar statements. These comments fail to take into account just how serious and complex thyroid cancer can be.
Those of us who have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer know these statements aren't true. There is no "good cancer."
Telling someone diagnosed with papillary or follicular thyroid cancer that he or she has an excellent prognosis for a long life of living with thyroid cancer is reasonable. Telling the same person that he/she has "good cancer" diminishes both how dangerous the disease can be, and what the person diagnosed is going through.
Medical professionals need to speak to us in the same way they discuss any other cancer, so that we will realize how important lifetime monitoring is even when we have a good prognosis. Not clearly delivering this message can lead survivors to not understand how important lifetime monitoring and follow-up are to managing their thyroid cancer.
To put things in context, when someone feels poorly and goes to the doctor for a checkup, the doctor may say, "you have a bad cold." How can a person be told he or she has a "bad cold," but can have "good cancer"?