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Dartmouth hosts 10th annual Blue Butterfly Evening

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The 10th annual Blue Butterfly Evening in support of thyroid cancer care and research is happening on Saturday in Dartmouth, N.S.

June is thyroid awareness month in Canada. Dr. Mal Rajaraman, a radiation oncologist at the QEII Health Sciences Centres says thyroid cancer is not as easily picked up.

“It’s a really slow growing cancer, it really doesn’t cause a lot of symptoms usually. It happens in relatively younger people than other cancers,” he said in an interview with CTV’s Crystal Garret on Thursday.

Thyroid cancer survivor Tess Panzarasa says she was diagnosed at the age of 24, shortly after having her first child.

“It was a huge wrench in my plans. I was also studying at the time. So it was a big surprise,” she said. “Listen to your body. Catching them early on is really going to make all the difference. Pay attention and follow up.”

Rajaraman says there are few symptoms associated with thyroid cancer.

“A painless lump in a young person. The typical person is in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, and are female. It’s mostly picked up by accident when you have an x-ray for some other reason. There is a thyroid neck check you can do on your own, but talk to your doctor about any lump that’s new or unusual.”

This year’s Blue Butterfly Evening is being held at the Brightwood Golf and Country Club. Panzarasa says the event helps to support thyroid cancer care and research.

“To raise awareness and get people talking, and to raise money for research to implement better screening and treatment,” she said.

“It brings the health-care team and patients together for a good cause. It rises money and awareness,” adds Panzarasa.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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