'Fit and healthy' mum who battled thyroid cancer at 27 shares 4 symptoms she ignored

‘Fit and healthy’ mum who battled thyroid cancer at 27 shares 4 symptoms she ignored

A mother who battled thyroid cancer aged 27 has revealed symptoms she didn’t know weeks before her diagnosis, from dry skin to brittle hair.

Christina McKnight, now 35, thought little of the signs for weeks and was only diagnosed after husband Matthew McKnight, 36, ‘forced’ her to see a doctor.

She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the fall of 2014, despite having no family history and being “young, fit and healthy”.

Christina – who now has a five-year-old son – thought her symptoms were caused by stress after getting a promotion at her job at a commercial bank.

However, his fatigue, brain fog, dry skin, and brittle hair were all signs of something far more sinister.

Christina, a content creator, from Oklahoma City, USA, said: “It was one of those things that I never thought could happen to me.

“I was young, fit and healthy. I had just run a half marathon, done CrossFit for three years, and had no known inherited thyroid disease in the family.

“I just started feeling very tired and had a lot of brain fog, but I thought it was just because of my promotion.

“Then my husband noticed how tired I was and my lack of interest in things like the gym, which I usually enjoy.

“I couldn’t do things the way I used to. I had to go to work on a Sunday to catch up because my brain was so foggy.

Christina said she began to notice her hair becoming “strangely brittle”, while her skin became drier.

    (Christina McKnight/SWNS)

(Christina McKnight/SWNS)

“I kept sweeping everything away,” she said.

“My husband knew something was wrong and made me make a doctor’s appointment – which I canceled twice because I had too much to do. I finally went to the doctor especially to appease him.

“I said my symptoms were due to not taking care of myself – eating fast food and being stressed at work.

“Fortunately, my doctor recognized my symptoms as he had recently diagnosed other people with thyroid cancer.

“He felt my neck and found a lump I wasn’t even aware of and got the ball rolling with the diagnosis.”

    (Christina McKnight/SWNS)

(Christina McKnight/SWNS)

Christina then underwent an ultrasound and biopsy which confirmed that she had thyroid cancer.

At first, Christina was hesitant to accept the diagnosis, as her thyroid would need to be removed.

The thyroid is found in the neck and produces vital hormones that regulate metabolism, energy levels, heart rate and body temperature.

As an athlete and runner, Christina was reluctant to have the procedure. So she got a second opinion which also confirmed that she had thyroid cancer.

She underwent a thyroidectomy in November 2014, followed by radioactive iodine ablation treatment in January to remove any remnants of her thyroid gland.

A year later, she was given the all-clear but has to undergo thyroid replacement injections to replace her lost hormones.

Christina, who shares her experiences with her 102,000 followers on TikTok, said: “It was very surreal because cancer is such a big word.

“It was such a shock and I just thought it couldn’t be, it was a weird feeling.

“Often it is said that thyroid cancer affects older people and that it is hereditary, but it was not my case.

“I share my story, not to scare people, but to remind them to pay attention if you feel any changes and to go to the doctor.

“Listen to the people around you if they notice changes in you, sometimes they see things in us that we don’t.

“Luckily I’m fine and my husband made sure I see a doctor, but I never thought that being tired and having dry hair was cancer.

“It’s so important to be aware of these lesser-known symptoms and not assume it wouldn’t happen to you, listen to the people around you and listen to the changes in your body – it could save your life.”

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