The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck. The thyroid gland is responsible for how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins and how sensitive it is to other hormones. This gland is often known as the master gland of metabolism and when it fails to work properly can affect almost every aspect of your health.
This was a reality that 40 year old Vanessa Goddess from Benoni faced in October 2014, when after a bout of extreme fatigue and headaches, a friend noticed a lump on her neck and suggested Vanessa go and have it checked out. It was after this trip to the doctor, and numerous tests later, that Vanessa was officially diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
Thyroid cancer, which predominantly affects women between the ages of 30 and 60, is growing in prevalence; with over 60 000 new cases expected in the US alone each year. Typically this type of cancer is very difficult to detect in early stages and as such is often misdiagnosed as Graves’ disease or Hashimoto's disease.
Some early signs to watch out for include a hoarse voice, neck pain and enlarged lymph nodes. You can also do a simple Thyroid self test at home with these guidelines below:
Thyroid cancer is often unfairly dubbed the "easy cancer” but, no cancer is ever easy, and by Vanessa’s own admission, it was a “year of hell and scraping myself off the floor each morning – until I started Banting PROPERLY”. This article explains the link between cancer and insulin resistance, in more detail.
Vanessa took it upon herself to do a lot of research of her own, and it was after her own research, and reading of The Real Meal Revolution that she decided that to beat this cancer she needed to make some big lifestyle changes. Following her thyroidectomy and 14 days of isolation in hospital, whilst she underwent radiation treatment, she came back home and committed to Banting, during her period of recovery.
Thyroid cancer leaves lifelong symptoms if not managed with the correct diet, “I still battle with other issues like hypoglycemia, adrenal fatigue, liver problems and candida, but my doctor, who is a homeopath, says BANTING is the only way to live as I want to live, and that means I cannot touch sugar or carbs or any processed foods.” Vanessa was on her way to liver failure before changing her diet.
“I am a Survivor and Banting definitely changed my life! So although the road ahead is long, I can do this with BANTING and the right meds – without the right foods we will just continue to kill ourselves,” says Vanessa.
With three children at home, the family have all adopted a Banting lifestyle, “I want to give them a healthier, better chance at life as I truly believe that SUGAR is a KILLER and this has been proven with my body so many times – every time I have a tiny, little bit my body shuts down and gets sick.”
As a result of the radiation treatment, cancer patients have a 50% increased risk of developing lung, colon or liver cancer later in life, which makes what they put into their bodies so much more critical.
With a renewed lease on life, Vanessa is committed to sharing her story, and educating others, on not only what thyroid cancer is and what its effects are, but more importantly, that it’s not a death sentence. With the right diet and nutrition, it can be overcome and beaten.