ThyCa NEWS NOTES – August 2010

In This Issue

ThyCa Announces Four Thyroid Cancer Research Grants for 2010

ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc., is proud to announce two new 2010 ThyCa Research Grants plus two continuation grants, awarded to thyroid cancer researchers at institutions in the United States and Switzerland. The grant recipients were selected by an independent expert panel of the American Thyroid Association (ATA.)

The 2010 new ThyCa grant recipients are:

  • Rozita Bagheri-Yarmand, Ph.D., University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer, Houston, Texas, for the project “Center Activating Transcription Factor 4 (ATF4), a Novel Putative Tumor Suppressor Gene in Medullary Thyroid Cancer.”
  • Tania Pilli, M.D., University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, for the project “The Role of MADD, an IG20 Gene Splice Variant, and Its Potential Use as Therapeutic Target in the Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer.”

ThyCa has also awarded a second year of funding to its two 2009 grant recipients, also selected by ATA’s independent panel:

  • Dingxie Liu, M.D., Ph.D. of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, for the project “Dually Targeting the MAP Kinase and PI3K Pathways in Thyroid Cancer – Testing of a Novel Therapeutic Approach.”
  • Martin Walter, M.D. of University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland, for the project “Somatostatin-coupled Nanoparticles for Imaging and Therapy of Medullary Thyroid Cancer.”

First awarded in 2003, and continuing every year since, ThyCa’s grants are the first-ever thyroid cancer research grants to be funded entirely by thyroid cancer patients, caregivers, and friends. The ThyCa grants are open to researchers and institutions worldwide. ThyCa has awarded more than $650,000 for thyroid cancer research, to researchers in France, Germany, Switzerland, and the United States.

Thank you to all our generous donors. Your support of the Rally for Research made these grants possible. Together, we continue to work toward our goal of cures for all thyroid cancer. Support the Rally for Research.

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AACE Neck Check Card, Now Available Free From ThyCa To Promote Early Detection of Thyroid Nodules

The important card, “How To Take the Thyroid Neck Check,” developed by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and the American College of Endocrinology (ACE), is now available free from ThyCa.

ThyCa is now printing and distributing these illustrated cards for use in thyroid cancer awareness activities and in physicians’ offices, and at health fairs, cancer screenings, and other community events.

The informative Neck Check card gives step-by-step instructions to use at home for a simple neck check to find an enlarged thyroid gland or a thyroid nodule. The card also explains the role of the thyroid gland, and discusses the blood test for TSH to determine whether the thyroid gland is producing too much or too little thyroid hormone.

We thank AACE for developing this convenient and informative educational handout and for collaborating with ThyCa to make it available free of charge on request. To request either a single copy or a bulk request, e-mail your request to or fax to 1-630-604-6078.

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Dr. Owen To Speak in Reno, Nevada on August 10, 2010

Ann Owen, M.D., Endocrinologist, will speak and answer questions about thyroid cancer treatment and testing at the Tuesday, August 10 meeting of the ThyCa Reno, Nevada Support Group. The meeting takes place at Renown Medical Center, Sierra Tower, First Floor, Cafeteria Board Room, 1155 Mill Street, Reno, Nevada. Everyone interested in thyroid cancer is invited to attend. This event is free. For more information, visit

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Thyroid Exam Included in “The Stanford 25” Exam Techniques Every Doctor Should Know

Palpating the neck to do a thyroid exam is one of 25 hands-on diagnostic techniques that every physician should know, according to Abraham Verghese, M.D., Professor of Medicine at Stanford Medical School, Stanford, California, in the Summer 2010 issue of Stanford Medicine magazine. The article tells how Dr. Verghese developed the “Stanford 25 Exam Techniques” for training first-year residents (interns). It notes that both the angle of the fingers and the part of the neck examined are important in a thyroid exam.

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Coming in September: Worldwide Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

This is the 10th Anniversary of this important observance, sponsored by ThyCa.

Thank you to our many partners in promoting thyroid cancer awareness for early detection, treatment according to the latest knowledge, lifetime monitoring, and more research for cures for all thyroid cancer.

Our web site will soon give more ideas and suggestions for how you can promote awareness from your home as well as in your workplace, school, medical center, and community group. We’ll also recognize groups and individuals and their activities in this campaign. Visit for free downloadable flyers to give or display, or e-mail, or call 1-877-588-7904 to request your free materials. Free materials for Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month are available on request. To find out more, e-mail us or visit our Raise Awareness page.

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More than 30 Speakers Confirmed for Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference

We are honored to introduce these distinguished medical professional speakers already confirmed for the 13th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference, October 15-17, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.

  • Douglas W. Ball, M.D., Endocrinologist, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD
  • Marcia S. Brose, M.D., Ph.D., Oncologist, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • Rebecca Brown, M.D., Endocrinologist, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL
  • Naifa L. Busaidy, M.D., Endocrinologist, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • Maria E. Cabanillas, M.D., Endocrinologist, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • Mark S. Chambers, M.S., D.M.D., Oral Medicine, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • Gary L. Clayman, D.M.D., M.D., Surgeon, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX\
  • Gilbert Cote, M.D., Endocrinologist, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • Mouhammed A. Habra, M.D., Endocrinologist, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • Shelby Holt, M.D., Endocrine Surgeon, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
  • Yariv Houvras, M.D., Oncologist, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA
  • Mimi I. Hu, M.D., Endocrinologist, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • Joshua P. Klopper, M.D., Endocrinologist, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO
  • Jochen Lorch, M.D., Oncologist, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
  • James G. Luehman, Deputy Director, Division of Materials Safety and State Agreements, United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC
  • Bryan McIver, M.B., Ph.D., F.R.C.P., Endocrinologist, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • Mira Milas, M.D., Endocrine Surgeon, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland, OH
  • David Myssiorek, M.D., F.A.C.S., Otolaryngologist, New York University Clinical Cancer Center, New York, NY
  • Rebecca Nagy, M.S., C.G.C., Certified Genetic Counselor, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • Theresa A. Rich, M.S., C.G.C., Certified Genetic Counselor, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • Jennifer Rosen, M.D., Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
  • Carol Sanders, Hypoparathyroidism Association, Idaho Falls, ID
  • James Sanders, Hypoparathyroidism Association, Idaho Falls, ID
  • Pamela Schultz, R.N., Ph.D., Research Nurse, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
  • Rena V. Sellin, M.D., Endocrinologist, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • Jennifer A. Sipos, M.D., Endocrinologist, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH
  • Julie Ann Sosa, M.D., M.A., Surgeon, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
  • Beatriz Tendler, M.D., Endocrinologist, University of Connecticut Health Center, Storrs, CT
  • Steven G. Waguespack, M.D., Endocrinologist, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • Lynn Waldmann, L.C.S.W., Senior Social Work Counselor, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • Samuel A. Wells, M.D., Surgeon, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
  • Michelle D. Williams, M.D., Pathologist, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • Lori J. Wirth, M.D., Medical Oncologist, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA
  • Laura S. Wood, R.N., M.S.N., O.C.N., Renal Cancer Research Coordinator, Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland, OH
  • Anita Ying, M.D., Endocrinologist, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • …and more being confirmed

In addition to these speakers, other specialists will lead sessions, and survivors and caregivers coping with every type of thyroid cancer will lead roundtables and discussions on numerous important topics. In all, the conference will offer more than 100 session choices.

We invite you to join us for this unique weekend of learning from experts and sharing experiences and support with others who understand what you’re going through.

Registration is open at You may register either by using our convenient online form, or by mail. We also welcome walk-in attendees. The hotel information with details about the special $99 sleep room rate for advance reservations, and an online reservation link, is also available.

Visit our website often for conference updates.

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Expanded Reference Book Presents 40 Chapters by 32 Medical Specialists

The expanded Second Edition (2010) of Thyroid Cancer: A Guide for Patients is now available from ThyCa. This large-format reference book has 434 pages, 40 chapters with numerous checklists and illustrations, and 40 authors, including 32 medical professionals from the numerous specialties involved in thyroid cancer care and research.

Proceeds from the books shipped by ThyCa help support our free education and support services, outreach, and thyroid cancer research grants. The order form is on the Reference Book page.

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Share Your Story, Poem, or Photo for the 15th Anniversary Collection

Be a voice for thyroid cancer! Help ThyCa mark our 15th Year Milestone. Send your story, poem, essay, or photo sharing your thoughts and images of your experience with thyroid cancer, to Choose your theme: (1) My Thyroid Cancer Journey, (2) Voices of Survivors and Caregivers, (3) How ThyCa Helps Me. Send up to 500 words, in plain text in the e-mail message. Or send a photo in JPEG format, with a caption up to 25 words) through midnight, July 31, 2010. Please include your first name, last initial or name, and where you live (whatever information you will allow us to share with others).

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Collaborating To Reduce Post-Surgical Hypoparathyroidism

ThyCa is pleased to be working together with the Hypoparathyroidism, Association and with our medical advisors, to explore ways to achieve our shared goal of reducing post-surgical hypoparathyroidism. This uncommon complication of thyroid surgery requires patients to take daily calcium for the rest of their lives. Together we plan to give: information in future newsletters and on our web sites, and interact with medical professionals for their expertise on how to help reduce this post-surgical hypoparathyroidism. Also, this year’s International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference in Dallas, Texas, in October will have a roundtable led by the Hypoparathyroidism Association founders Jim and Carol Sanders.

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Our Free Guestbook

To receive our free online newsletter, plus announcements of ThyCa events and activities, fill out ourGuestbook form.

To protect each person’s privacy, the mailing list is for the sole use of ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc., and its affiliates. ThyCa does not ever sell, share or give away any contact information.

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Poems in Memory of KellyBy Lisa Cole, March 2010

you promised to show me you’re ok
i wait
i’m scared but i’m trying to be open
i need to know you’re ok as much as i need to breathe

i want to believe you’re in a better place
cancer and pain free

please show me


people fade in, people fade out
who will stay and who will leave?

suddenly i’m afraid of people leaving me
like you left me

though not your choice
you’re not here anymore in my physical word and i don’t blame you


it ravaged
tore, enveloped and hurt

but it didn’t break our bond

cancer can hurt but it cannot break spirit

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Have You Visited Our Web Site Lately?

We’re excited to report that the web site receives more than 350,000 visits per month —more than 11,000 each day.

Almost every day our volunteer web masters make content additions or updates. Recent additions include more local support groups and news about the recipients of ThyCa’s 2010 Research Grants.

More than 650 web pages provide extensive information about all types of thyroid cancer, connections to a broad range of free support services, and details about awareness campaigns, as well as fundraising for thyroid cancer research.

Free downloadable publications include the Free Low-Iodine Cookbook in English, Spanish, and French, plus dozens of other publications. A Chinese language translation is also in progress.

Thank you very much to the more than 50 thyroid cancer specialists who provide their input and expertise, and to the many dozens of volunteers on ThyCa’s Publications and Web Site Teams.

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Low-Iodine Recipe of the MonthContributed by Andrea Swangard

Andrea wries, “I’m currently on the low-iodine diet and following the delicious recipes from the ThyCa cookbook. I came up with a meal idea yesterday that I think would be a neat addition!”

Sweet Potato Tacos


  • 2 medium Corn Tortillas (or 4 small ones)
  • 2 Avocados
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1 Sweet Potato
  • Fresh Basil and/or Cilantro
  • Noniodized salt
  • Pepper


  • Dice tomatoes and avocado and mix together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Microwave sweet potato (puncture skin with fork a few times first) for 10 minutes (flipping over halfway through). Skin the potato and slice into small pieces.
  • Microwave corn tortillas for 30 seconds. Spoon a layer of sweet potato onto tortillas, top with avocado and tomato mixture, and garnish with basil and cilantro. Tasty!

Thank you, Andrea! We are including your recipe in the next edition of the FREE Downloadable Low-Iodine Cookbook.

Free and Downloadable: Download the new expanded 7th edition of the Low-Iodine Cookbook in English for free, with more than 340 favorite recipes from more than 150 generous volunteers.

The Cookbook is also available in Spanish and in French. Please remember, while you’re welcome to download and print the entire free low-iodine cookbook, you can also print just the pages you need.

This free cookbook is a wonderful help when you’re preparing to receive radioactive iodine for treatment or testing. All the recipes are favorites of some of our ThyCa volunteers, who are sharing them with everyone, to make the low-iodine diet easy and tasty. The recipes are also great for family meals and for potlucks, any time.

If you’d like to contribute your favorite recipe or tip, send it to

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How I Coped With My Thyroid CancerBy Astrid van Giffen

I’m a firm believer in using humor to get through tough situations. So when I found out I had thyroid cancer and would have to have my thyroid removed I organized a party. It was a farewell party for my thyroid complete with a cake which said “So long and thanks for all the hormones!”.,,,,I had a good time and so did my guests and it helped keep my mind off of the upcoming surgery.

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Serving People in 55 Countries

ThyCa is proud to announce that people in 55 countries worldwide are currently utilizing our services.

In addition, our newsletter recently reached a new milestone of going to more than 21,000 people.

Thank you to everyone who is helping to connect people worldwide with ThyCa’s free education, support services, and special events.

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Follow ThyCa on Facebook

ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. is now on Facebook (Group Name: THYCA).

Thank you to everyone who’s already become a THYCA Friend or Fan! Send us your messages and suggestions!

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Help Support the 2010 Rally for Research

Thanks to generous contributions and special fundraising events, ThyCa has awarded new thyroid cancer research grants every year starting in 2003. These grants support our goal of cures for all thyroid cancer and a future free of thyroid cancer. We plan to award new research grants in 2010.

You can help support the Rally for Research. For details about the Rally for Research, donation opportunities, special events, Quarters for a Cure, and information about ThyCa’s past and future Research Grants, visit the Rally for Research page.

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You’re Invited To Become a Member

Help us sustain, strengthen, and extend our services. We invite you to join ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.

Your membership dues will support ThyCa’s efforts to reach and serve other survivors and their families around the world. Members receive our quarterly Membership Messenger newsletter.

You may join as a 1-year member ($25), 2-year member ($45), or lifetime member ($225). For our secure online Membership Form and our mailed Membership Form, go to our Membership page.

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Events Preview

For details and contacts, go to our Calendar page and see the articles earlier in this newsletter.

  • Every Day: Thyroid Cancer Awareness Activities by volunteers around the world, to promote early detection, care according to expert standards, connections with free education and support services, and research for cures for all thyroid cancer.
  • Every Month. ThyCa’s Thyroid Cancer Support Group Meetings in Your Community.
  • September 2010. Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, Worldwide. Sponsored by ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. since 2000.
  • Friday, October 8, 2010, Los Angeles, California, at UCLA Medical Center. Cancer-Related Legal Issues. Free educational conference sponsored by the Cancer Legal Resource Center.
  • The 13th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference
    October 15-17, 2010 in Dallas, Texas
    Sponsored by ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.
  • The 9th Annual Dinner/Auction Fundraiser for Thyroid Cancer Research.
    October 16, 2009 in Dallas, Texas
    Sponsored by ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.

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Every Day…

Every day, thousands of people with thyroid cancer, and their families, receive support, education, and hope from ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.

Every day, numerous people distribute ThyCa outreach materials to their physicians, making them aware of a resource that can benefit their patients dealing with a thyroid cancer diagnosis.

Your generous support is what makes it possible to sustain, strengthen, and expand our services and outreach.

It only takes a minute to make a secure donation online in support of ThyCa’s work (or you are welcome to donate by mail to ThyCa, P.O. Box 1102, Olney, MD 20830-1102), so click here to give.

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Copyright (c) 2010 ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.

Thank you to our writing, editing, and proofreading team for this issue: Lisa Cole, Leah Guljord, Pat Paillard, Barbara Statas, Andrea Swangard, Cherry Wunderlich, and Gary Bloom.

Your suggestions for articles are welcome. The deadline for articles and news items is the first day of each month.

Please share ThyCa News Notes with your family and friends. For permission to reprint in another electronic or print publication, please contact us at

ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization (tax ID #52-2169434) of thyroid cancer survivors, family members, and health care professionals.

We are dedicated to support, education, and communication for thyroid cancer survivors, their families, and friends, as well as to public awareness for early detection, treatment, and lifetime health monitoring, and to thyroid cancer research fundraising and research grants.

Contact us for free awareness materials and information about our free services and special events. E-mail, call 1-877-588-7904, fax 1-630-604-6078, write PO Box 1102, Olney, MD 20830-1102, or visit our website.