Annual screening catches woman's thyroid cancer early

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - The only reason Jacki Garringer had someone look at her neck was because an annual screening was required to keep her insurance at work.

A lump in her neck raised concern.

"After it was pointed out to me, I could see it just by looking in the mirror. It was a couple inches long, the whole tumor," Jacki said.

Even given the warning, she delayed seeing a specialist for months.

"When she first told me about this, I said you need to go get it checked and she went mom, it will be alright, it's just a sore throat, but it will be ok. I'm glad she worked with people that said go get it go get it because she just thought that I was a worried mom," Jacki's mother, Judy Wallwer said.

A biopsy and surgery confirmed at just 26-years-old, Jacki had genetic medullary thyroid cancer.

"I had surgery November 3rd, so they just cut it open took my thyroid out and that was it, said Jacki.

"Had it not been found, it eventually would have been when it was much larger, it probably would have had lymph nodes throughout the neck that had cancer in them dropping her cure rate significantly. It still would have be treated but it would have been a bigger treatment with more changes of complications and a lower chance for cure. She is very lucky that this was found when it was found," said Dr. Tod Huntley.

And so now she wants to spread the word, about this little butterfly-like gland that could contain a big problem.

"I never really felt like I had it because I felt ok the entire time, like my normal self. No symptoms, never had a symptom and that is why it's so important to go get it check out," Jacki commented.

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