Monday, April 12, 2010

Heather Wilson Being Treated for Thyroid Cancer

Former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson released the following statement:

Manuel Lujan, Jr. & Heather Wilson
“I am being treated for papillary thyroid cancer. This is the most common type of thyroid cancer and has a cure rate of more than 90%. I expect to recover fully.”

The thyroid gland is in the neck just below the Adam’s apple. It produces a hormone that regulates metabolism. Wilson’s thyroid has not functioned since having thyroiditis fourteen years ago.

The treatment for papillary thyroid cancer is surgical removal of the thyroid gland followed several weeks later by a dose of radioactive iodine to kill any remaining thyroid cells. Side effects or complications are rare. Wilson’s surgery and follow up care will be performed in Albuquerque.

Nodules in Wilson’s thyroid were discovered by her doctor during a routine examination. A follow-up biopsy confirmed the diagnosis in mid-March.

About 37,000 people are diagnosed with thyroid cancer each year in the United States.