Emily Sadler is only 15. In March of 2017 she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. This came as a huge shock to herself and loved ones, especially because thyroid cancer very rarely affects anyone under the age of thirty and this form of cancer can often have no symptoms. If someone does have symptoms, it usually includes a swollen throat.
Thyroid cancer usually affects white females more than other groups.
The survival rate for thyroid cancer is good; the five-year survival rate is 90 percent, and for younger patients the survival rate is close to 100 since the cancer grows more slowly.
Treatment involves preventing the cancer from getting into the lungs, liver, or brain. Treatment can be intense and includes surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Emily had to go through all of this for a year. She had surgery to remove her thyroid gland, which rests at the bottom of the voice box. The thyroid gland regulates a person’s body heat and metabolism. The surgery to remove it from the nerves and vessels where it lies takes about 2 hours, and requires anesthesia. Patients have to be supervised in the hospital for two days following the surgery. They will require thyroid replacement drugs for the rest of their life.
To make sure the cancer cells are completely gone patients may also have to do radioactive iodine treatments. Patients will swallow a radioactive form of iodine which will flow throughout the body. If there are any thyroid cancer cells, the iodine will eliminate them.
The patient will have to stay in quarantine after the process for a few days.
Emily always said that when she was cancer free she wanted to have a big celebration. So after it was discovered that she was cancer free, her doctors and mother did not tell her right away.
Her mother, who works at the school Emily attends, planned a big surprise party for Emily to break the good news! Emily’s mom gathered Emily’s classmates, friends, teachers, and family members outside the band room in the school’s hallways. Teachers told Emily they were taking photo for the school yearbook and had her come out to the hallways.
That is when she was met with a roaring crowd of her peers, teachers, family, and faculty holding signs and saying “Emily is cancer free.”
Emily was surprised and overjoyed at the good news! Her family and friends captured pictures of the special moment where Emily can be seen crying tears of joy.
Check out the original article and pictures here.