30 Stories in 30 Days
September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month. For the next 4 weeks, we will post stories written by thyroid cancer survivors, caregivers and friends for our 30 Stories in 30 Days campaign. We hope their perspectives and insight will help others along their journey.
Valley Children’s Healthcare – one of the largest pediatric healthcare networks in the nation – provides Central California’s only high-quality, comprehensive care exclusively for children, from before birth to young adulthood. Over the last few years, a subspecialty team comprised of pediatric endocrinology, general surgery, otorhinolaryngology, and intervention radiology have made great strides to improve the care of pediatric patients with thyroid nodules, particularly those with thyroid cancer. In 2017, the pediatric endocrinology team at Valley Children’s Hospital recognized the opportunity to optimize care following thyroid surgery. In an effort to improve care, a small team comprised of Dr. Animesh Sharma and Nurse Practitioner Pamela Marsh from the endocrinology department undertook a research study to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of post-operative parathyroid hormone (PTH) to predict the risk of developing hypocalcemia in this select group of children. Through this study, the hospital hopes to formulate guidelines which could help in reducing length of hospital stay, frequency of laboratory tests, hospital costs and overall number of patients requiring treatment with oral calcium.