Know the Signs of Thyroid Cancer
- Kevin Overman, 48, has used painting to cope with his thyroid cancer diagnosis and treatment.
- Overman’s paintings have gone viral on social media and garnered purchases from the likes of award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee and NBA All-Star Dominique Wilkins.
- Thyroid cancer is the growth of cells that starts in the thyroid, which is located at the base of the neck and produces hormones that regulate your heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and weight.
- Thyroid cancer may produce no symptoms at first, but signs can include difficulty swallowing, voice changes, swelling in your neck, a lump felt through the skin on your neck and pain in your neck.
- SurvivorNet experts say finding joy and maintaining a positive attitude is an important component for cancer warriors while battling cancer.
“I found life impossible afterwards,” Overman explained to The Manchester Evening News about how he felt following his cancer diagnosis.Read More
Overman admitted it was difficult for him to cope with his diagnosis.
“It was like it took away my ability to cope with the world. I was very sensitive to everything – I struggled to sit at the table and have dinner with my own family,” he said.
While undergoing treatment, Overman reconnected with his childhood love of painting, and over time he realized it helped ease his mindset and anxieties.
“It was very calming. The process of painting was very helpful to me, and working towards a goal. I felt like I was achieving something,” he explained.
Making a lifesize painting of David Robinson, start to finish. 🏀 A San Antonio Spurs legend standing at 7ft 1 all. #nba #basketballedits #spursnation #nbahistory #basketballart #sanantoniospurs
As a basketball fan, Overman focused many of his life-sized portraits on famous NBA basketball players from Michael Jordan to Kobe Bryan to Dominique Wilkins. He credits his niece for encouraging him to showcase his works of art on TikTok.
And his posts went viral, gaining tons of traction online.
“I started posting videos and realizing people all over the world were interested – some of them had millions of views,” Overman said.
Among Overman’s fans were award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee, who reached out to the cancer warrior and ordered five of his paintings.
Lee, who cemented his directing career with “Do the Right Thing,” is also known for “Malcolm X,” “She’s Gotta Have It,” and “BlacKkKlansman.”
“I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited. I’m a huge fan – I grew up with all that late 80s hip-hop culture,” Overman said.
A subject of one of Overman’s portraits, NBA All-Star Dominique Wilkins, also reached out to purchase a portrait.
“I just feel really lucky. I love doing it,” Overman said.
@king.overman Painting a life-size AI 👑 #nba #art #basketball #nbaart #alleniverson #michaeljordan #ballislife #nbaart #76ersbasketball #basketballart #bball ♬ original sound – Hoopwise
Understanding Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer is a growth of abnormal cells that starts in the thyroid, which is located at the base of the neck and produces hormones that regulate your heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and weight, Mayo Clinic described.
Most thyroid cancer types grow slowly, and most can be cured with treatment. However, tumors can still grow and metastasize, meaning it spreads to the lymph nodes in the neck and other parts of the body, which would require more treatment.
More on Thyroid Cancer
- ‘The Biggest Loser’s’ Erica Lugo Shares Powerful Photos of Thyroid Cancer Surgery On 2-Year-Anniversary; Reminds Women to ‘#CheckTheirNeck’
- 35-Year-Old’s Mom Dismissed Dry Skin And Brittle Hair As Stress Until Her Husband Pushed Her To See A Doctor: It Turned Out To Be Thyroid Cancer
- 7 Common Signs of Thyroid Cancer & How to Spot Them
- Beloved Indiana FOX Anchor Lindy Thackston, 41 Declares ‘Thyroid Benign!’ She’s Thriving After Her Brave Cancer Battle
Thyroid Cancer Symptoms and Risk Factors
Thyroid cancer risk factors include exposure to high levels of radiation, being female, and certain inherited genetic syndromes.
Thyroid cancer may not cause symptoms at first but, as the cancer grows more prominent, signs become apparent for people impacted.
Symptoms can include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Voice changes
- Swelling in your neck
- Lump felt through the skin on your neck
- Pain in your neck
WATCH: Maintaining a Positive Headspace.
Finding Joy During Cancer Journey
Overman’s cancer journey helped steer him to painting which brings him joy and positivity. SurvivorNet experts say a positive attitude is an important component for cancer warriors while battling cancer.
Dr. Dana Chase, a gynecologic oncologist at UCLA Health, says that emotional health and good quality of life is associated with better survival and better outcomes.
“So definitely working on your emotional health, your physical well-being, your social environment, your emotional well-being, definitely working on those things and making them better are important and can impact your survival,” Dr. Chase told SurvivorNet.
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