Tiger's pitcher cancer 'quite common' - WNEM TV 5

Tiger's pitcher cancer 'quite common'

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ANN ARBOR, MI (WNEM) -

Craig Jaffe is a physician with the University of Ann Arbor.

“Thyroid cancer is quite common,” Jaffe said.

Detroit Tiger’s pitcher Daniel Norris announced he had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer at 22 years-old. Norris was picked up by the Tigers while he was playing for Toronto in the multi-player trade involving David Price.

Norris also announced that he decided to finish the season before receiving treatments.

Jaffe said that’s not typical with other types of cancer.

"The very large majority of these cancers are slow growing so finishing out the season, most of the time, wouldn't put the patient at any more risk," Jaffe said.

But despite a growing concern that thyroid cancer is becoming more common among younger patients,  Jaffe said the data doesn't exactly support that concern.

"We do know it's more common overall. It's not that there's more thyroid cancer out there, it's just that were finding it a lot more," Jaffe said.

Because of more sensitive detection and more patients getting screened Jaffe said doctors are able to diagnose it more and much earlier.

“People probably always had these abnormalities. A few years ago, they had them, now we see them, before we didn't," Jaffe said.

In the case of Norris, the Tiger's pitcher announced he'll undergo a surgical procedure to remove a malignant tumor in his neck. But according to experts, surgery isn't always necessary if the cancer is found early enough.

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