A first-year medical student was learning about ultrasounds. She found something unexpected about her own health

Last Updated on December 18, 2023 by admin

A first-year medical student was learning about ultrasounds. She found something unexpected about her own health
In the photo of the left, Sally Rohan views her thyroid ultrasound. The image on the right shows her surgical scar after her thyroid was removed. – Courtesy Sally RohanCourtesy Sally Rohan

Sally Rohan, a second-year medical student at Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine, recently underwent an unexpected turn in her life when a routine classroom exercise unveiled a discovery that changed the course of her health journey.

At 25, during her first year as a medical student in November 2022, Rohan inadvertently stumbled upon an anomaly while practicing ultrasound techniques on her thyroid in class. What started as a learning exercise for her and her classmates soon revealed an irregularity that caught Rohan’s attention.

“It looked different from what I had seen in the videos we watched before the class,” Rohan recalled, noticing the unusual appearance of her thyroid tissue during the ultrasound.

Though advised to seek medical attention, the impending loss of her health insurance as she approached her 26th birthday led Rohan to delay further investigation into the matter. Despite reassurances about normal thyroid levels and the perceived non-severity of thyroid cancer, her journey took an unexpected turn.

After securing health insurance months later, an ultrasound and subsequent biopsy revealed unsettling news—several nodules indicated the presence of thyroid cancer that had metastasized to her cervical lymph nodes.

The diagnosis was a jolt, yet Rohan found solace in her medical community, swiftly arranging necessary appointments and surgery. Her resilience shone through as she balanced medical studies with treatments, embracing the support of a surgeon who accommodated her academic schedule while attending to her health needs.

The journey isn’t over. While the surgery removed a significant part of her thyroid and affected lymph nodes, Rohan remains vigilant, aware of the possibility of further challenges. Continued treatment and thyroid hormone supplementation are crucial aspects of her ongoing health management.

Reflecting on her experience, Rohan finds a deeper sense of empathy blooming within her. Her journey with cancer promises to shape her future interactions with patients when she embarks on her medical career.

Amidst the uncertainties, Rohan’s determination to navigate this challenging phase with grace and courage stands as a testament to her resilience and the unwavering spirit of those facing unexpected health battles.

This post originally appeared on CNN.com