According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, thyroid cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women, and is most likely to occur in those between the age of 20 and 34. Additionally, it is one of the most rapidly rising cancers in the U.S. Because this disease has such a major impact on women, it's important to recognize how it may impact a woman's life – including her ability to get pregnant and give birth.
According to Mara Roth, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Washington, the thyroid hormone is necessary for supporting women who want to have a successful pregnancy and beyond.
Let's take a closer look at what thyroid cancer is, and how it may impact a woman's ability to conceive.
Understanding Thyroid Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, thyroid cancer begins below the thyroid cartilage, also known as the Adam's apple. The thyroid is made up mostly of two types of cells: Follicular and C cells. Different growths and tumors can develop in the thyroid gland. Some are benign, while others are malignant and may spread to different areas in the body.
The three main types of thyroid cancers include differentiated, medullary and anaplastic. Differentiated includes papillary, follicular and Hurthle cell. Papillary is the most common, making up 8 out of 10 cases of thyroid cancer.
While there's no known cause of thyroid cancer, there are certain risks that may increase one's chance of developing thyroid cancer, according to MedicineNet. Those include family history of goiter, hereditary syndromes and exposure to radiation.
Can Women Get Pregnant After Thyroid Cancer?
Most women who seek treatment after a thyroid cancer diagnosis are recommended to take radioactive iodine after undergoing surgery. This makes it unsafe for women to get pregnant and will delay plans to start or grow a family, and can decrease fertility in women the first three to six months after treatment. Even men who have surgery after thyroid cancer may experience short-term changes that impact the ability to conceive, decreasing sperm concentration and sperm quality in the first three to six months after radioactive iodine treatment, according to Roth.
However, radioactive iodine treatment isn't required after treatment. And women with normal thyroid glands will produce the thyroid hormone just fine during pregnancy. So how do they ensure their thyroid glands are in top shape after a thyroid cancer diagnosis? A primarily raw, plant-based diet may be the solution.
According to Mind Body Green, proper thyroid function relies on an abundance of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, selenium, B vitamins, iodine, vitamin D and zinc. That means paying close attention to healthy eating habits. The Hallelujah Diet offers the nutritional content needed to thrive, offering optimal fuel for a healthy thyroid. You can also try our Nascent Iodine, assisting with cell detoxification, improving the immune system and ensuring proper thyroid function to keep every gland in the body in top shape. This is especially important to consider before conceiving, as studies have shown a correlation between low maternal iodine status in pregnancy and poorer cognitive function in the child.
Need proof? Read about some of our testimonials from faithful followers who stopped taking thyroid medication after following the Hallelujah Diet!