Thyroid Cancer is rare but numbers are on the increase with about 2000 new cases a year affecting twice as many women than men. About 30% of those who have thyroid operations will experience temporary symptoms of low calcium and may require treatment. If treatment is still ongoing after 6 months it is known as 'late hypocalcaemia' or hypoparathyroidism and may be permanent, requiring lifelong medication. Late hypocalcaemia after total thyroidectomy is the commonest reported complication. The overall incidence is about 9%.
If you developed hypopara following an operation for thyroid cancer you will need to manage hypopara and thyroid medication as well as have regular neck checks and blood tests.
There are some excellent places to find support for thyroid cancer but only Hypopara UK provides ongoing support for people who went into hospital with one condition and came out with another. Our facebook group (search Hypopara UK Group) is very active and friendly and our website forum has a board especially for people who have recently had thyroid or neck surgery and are having symptoms of low calcium.
Our sister group is Thyroid Cancer Support UK. Both groups were set up together by Ruth Pink (thyroid cancer patient) and Liz Glenister (thyroid cancer & post surgical hypoparathyroidism patient) in 2005 to provide support for both conditions.
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For support specifically about thyroid cancer:
The British Thyroid Foundation was set up by Janis Hickey in 1991. BTF provides support and information and produces leaflets and guides to order including an excellent booklet called Thyroid Cancer For Patients By Patients .
The Butterfly Thyroid Cancer Trust, a national charity, is dedicated solely to the support of patients with thyroid cancer and was set up by Kate Farnell in 2005. The BTCT DVD called "Thyroid Cancer Uncovered: A Patient's Guide " is available free to all patients.
You can also visit the Thyroid Cancer Support Group in Wales, run by Helen Hoborough
and the Thyroid Cancer Support Group in Ireland, run by Mary McGarry