Today, news broke that Argentine President Cristina Fernandez,58, has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and that she will undergo surgery next week, according to Reuters. Fernandez, who was elected to the position after her husband, the former President, died of a heart attack in October of 2010. The cancer was reportedly found in its early stages during a routine check-up, and doctors have given Fernandez a very positive prognosis–which serves as a good reminder than checking often and catching cancer early is one of the best ways to ensure the very best possible outcome.
A powerful orator who has championed for causes such as reducing poverty in her nation, Fernandez has made a remarkable political career from what could have been a tragedy. Following the death of her husband, Fernandez’s fate remained uncertain. But when she won the Presidential election with 54% of the vote last year, it became clear that she would become a strong leader during unsteady economic times.
According to news reports, the style icon and human rights activist was diagnosed with a papillary carcinoma, which is the most common form of thyroid cancer. Tumors of this sort often spread quickly and easily, but Fernandez’s doctors are reporting that the tumor located in the President has not, and put her chances of being cured at “90 to 98%.” She will undergo surgery, and take a leave of absence until the end of January. During the surgery, her entire thyroid gland will be removed, which can cause hormonal complications, particularly in women. Thyroidectomies are often accompanied by hormone replacement therapy.
Thyroid cancer, which is more common in women over 40, often presents without symptoms, and may go undetected as it spreads and grows. However, a tumor of the thyroid is easily detectable during a routine physical. Symptoms may include a sore throat, a hoarse voice, or a lump in the neck–all of which may initially be waved off as a sign of a cold or flu. Additionally, many thyroid nodules, which are not always cancerous, can cause similar symptoms. Early detection has long been identified as one of the most critical aspects of treating cancer of all kinds, which is why, in spite of changes to recommendations like years pap smears, keeping a close eye on your own body and regularly visiting with a doctor are good practices.
We wish Fernandez and her family the best of luck with her treatment, and hope she experiences a speedy recovery.