January is Thryoid Awareness and HPV Prevention month. Scottsdale ENT is committed to providing quality education and care to our patients.

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The thyroid is an important gland of the endocrine system that produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolic rate, growth, and development. It plays a role in controlling heart, muscle and digestive function, brain development and bone maintenance.

Untreated thyroid disease may put you at risk for other serious health conditions such as osteoporosis, infertility, and heart disease, among others.

Everyone should get their thyroid evaluated annually through bloodwork and physical examination.


  • 1 in 10 people suffer from a thyroid disorder and about 1 in 8 women will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime.
  • 60% of those with thyroid disease are completely unaware of their condition.
  • Women are 5x more likely to suffer from hypothyroidism


Thyroid disease is commonly very east to treat and depends on your diagnosis. Treatment for thyroid disease involves:

  • Medication: Thyroid hormones such as Levothyroxine and/or Liothryoxine.
  • Radiation with Iodine 131 isotope.
  • Ultrasound-guided needle biopsy.
  • Surgery, Partial or total removal of the thryroid.


Common risk factors include:

  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Family history of thyroid dysfunction
  • Past radiation to the head and neck area with X-rays or CT imaging
  • Recent pregnancy
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Join Scottsdale ENT in raising awareness to HPV-based oropharyngeal cancer! HPV Prevention Week is January 22nd-26th.

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Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the name of a common sexually transmitted virus and many are infected at some point in their lives, and usually comes without symptoms.

HPV can infect the mouth and throat, causing cancers of the oropharynx (base of tongue and tonsils). According to the CDC, HPV is thought to cause 70% of oropharyngeal cancer in the United States.

Because HPV was previously thought to only give women cervical cancer, men were frequently not vaccinated against HPV. This has resulted in a significant increase in the prevalence of HPV-driven oropharyngeal carcinoma which have exceeded the rate of HPV-driven cervical cancer.


Treatment for HPV oropharyngeal carcinoma may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy as a single modality or combination depending on stage, location of the tumor, and nodal involvement. Both Dr. Heiland and Dr. MacKechnie at Scottsdale ENT offer surgical intervention with Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS) and neck dissection. Minimally invasive head and neck surgery like TORS provides the opportunity to minimize surgical morbidity, post-surgical complications and recovery period.


The CDC recommends vaccination against HPV with the Gardasil 9 HPV vaccine. It is administered as a two-dose series if done ages 9-14, and three dose series if done age 15-45. The vaccine is most effective if administered before exposure to sexual activity.

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Dr. Cheryl A. MacKechnie, MD

Dr. Cheryl A. MacKechnie is board certified in otolaryngology and treats a broad range of ear, nose, and throat conditions. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, she completed her residency in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.