Sports anchor has recovered from thyroid cancer

Clare Balding, sports anchor for BBC News and former horse jockey, recently reported having fully recovered from thyroid cancer after more than a year and a half of treatment, according to the UK Press Association.

Balding revealed that she had thyroid cancer to the UK Daily Mail in May 2009, when she told reporters that she had undergone a procedure to remove a cyst in her throat, followed by the surgical removal of her entire thyroid gland.

The television personality recently posted on her Twitter page that she had one final operation to remove a cancerous lymph node and that her physicians have since told her that she is tumor-free.

Balding specified that she had received radioiodine and radiation therapy as part of her treatment.

Radioiodine therapy targets the thyroid gland with radioactive iodine isotopes. Since the thyroid gland absorbs virtually all iodine in the body, this treatment can kill cancer cells in the thyroid gland, according to the American Cancer Society.

If radioiodine and radiation therapy do not work, endocrinologists may recommend a partial or full thyroidectomy to remove the cancerous tissue.

In 2009, Balding told the Daily Mail that after her first two operations she sounded "like Kermit," but more recently she posted on Twitter that she "can sing into 2011 with glee."

The newspaper said that thyroid cancer is a relatively rare disease in the UK, with roughly 1,600 people diagnosed every year.

In contrast, nearly 45,000 individuals in the U.S. are diagnosed with thyroid cancer annually, according to the National Cancer Institute. Approximately the same number of Americans succumb to thyroid cancer in a year - nearly 1,700 - as are diagnosed with the disease in the UK.

However, treatment options are plentiful, as are stories of recovery. Having been given a clean bill of health, Balding will now appear on BBC Channel 4's Famous and Fearless, the Daily Mail concluded.
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