ThyCa NEWS NOTES – August 2012

In This Issue:

Researchers in Sweden and United States Awarded New ThyCa Grants

We are proud to announce the awarding of 6 thyroid cancer research grants, including three new thyroid cancer research grants and three 2011 continuation grants, all funded by the patients and families who contribute to ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association. This is the ninth consecutive year in which ThyCa has awarded research grants.

One of the new grants is named the Ric Blake Memorial Thyroid Cancer Research Grant, named for ThyCa Co-Founder Ric Blake in honor of his dedication and commitment to ThyCa and to our goal of better futures for everyone with thyroid cancer, everywhere in the world.

The three new research grants are awarded to:

  • Niklas Finnberg, Ph.D., Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, Hershey, Pennsylvania, for the project titled “Sorafenib and Quinacrine as Potential Combination for Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma.”
  • Aime Franco, Ph.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, for the project titled “The Role of RAS versus RAF in Thyroid Cancer Development and Progression.”
  • Andreas Lundqvist, Ph.D., Cancer Center Karolinska, Stockholm, Sweden, for the project titled “Study the Role of Natural Killer Cells in Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma.” Dr. Lundqvist is the recipient of the Ric Blake Memorial Thyroid Cancer Research Grant.

The three 2011 continuation grants are awarded to:

  • Naifa L. Busaidy, M.D., University of Texas – M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, for the project “A PI3K Based Phophoproteome Signature To Predict Prognosis and Response to Therapy in BRAF Mutant Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma.”
  • Joanna Klubo-Gwiezdzinska, M.D., Ph.D., Washington Hospital Center/Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., for the project, “The Role of the Translocator Protein (TSPO) in the Thyroid Cancer Response to Treatment.”
  • Carmelo Nucera, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard Medical School, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, for the project “Targeting BRAFV600E with an Orally Available Selective Inhibitor in Novel In Vitro and In Vivo Preclinical Models of Human Papillary Thyroid Cancer.”

Researchers and institutions worldwide are eligible for ThyCa grants. The winning grant proposals were selected by an independent expert panel of the American Thyroid Association (ATA), the professional association of research and clinical thyroidologists. Our thanks to the ATA for your ongoing support and collaboration.

Generous financial support from thousands of contributors make possible ThyCa’s annual research grants. Thank you very much to everyone for their support. No contribution is too large or too small.

Together, we make a difference in our future, and are helping advance understanding and research for better management of our cancer as well as cures, toward our dream of a future free of thyroid cancer.

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Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month Begins Soon!
Get Free Materials, Help Others, Partner with ThyCa!

Volunteers are planning innovative and varied ways to mark Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month throughout September. ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc., established this annual observance 12 years ago to promote:

  • the need for early detection of the fastest increasing cancer in both men and women,
  • the need for treatment and long-term follow-up using expert guidelines, plus
  • research for better treatments and cures for all thyroid cancer.

A few samples of this year’s activities.

  • In Texas, Lisa C., a papillary thyroid cancer survivor, and her five children plan to distribute Neck Check cards and thyroid cancer awareness brochures outside two neighborhood pharmacies, every weekend in September. Lisa wants to spread the word about how important it is to have neck checks.
  • In California, a nonprofit family service agency plans to have a thyroid cancer awareness and information booth at a combined one-day community health fair and vehicle show.
  • In Pennsylvania, the State Senate unanimously adopted a Senate resolution sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, a thyroid cancer survivor, to designate September 2012 as Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.
  • In Virginia, Tennessee, and other states, hospitals and ThyCa volunteers are organizing thyroid cancer awareness displays for tabletops and bulletin boards.
  • Volunteers will give awareness materials to friends and relatives, wear the Neck Check Awareness Shirts and awareness pins and wristbands. Additionally, we receive numerous requests from thyroid cancer survivors, caregivers, and health care professionals for materials to help raise awareness and educate others about thyroid cancer.

Want to help? Ask us for free materials (or download flyers from our web site), plus tips for spreading the word, and how you and your business, agency, or organization can partner with ThyCa in Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month. Let us know what you’re doing to heighten awareness. Share your ideas with others.

Visit the Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month page for news, announcements, free handouts and tips, and the opportunity to partner with ThyCa in this important event: .

Thank you for helping others!

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by Pat Paillard

Have you visited Chicago, to see the sights, and try new foods? How about going to learn all you can about thyroid cancer?

Well, from October 19-21, 2012, you can. You can go to the 15th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors Conference at the Eaglewood Resort & Spa and you’ll do just that!

You won’t believe how enlightened this weekend will make you feel. You will meet wonderful and friendly people, learn from the experts who deal with thyroid cancer every day, have the opportunity to ask your questions of the experts, and probably make a lot of new friends.

I have learned so much while attending five conferences already, and I’ve made friends in ThyCa whom I truly look forward to seeing, even if just once a year! They have become a second family to me.

We all know how some physicians may speak in “medicalese”— well, not these doctors! They speak to us in terms that we can understand, and they respond to our questions in a warm, caring way.

If you or someone you care about has been touched by thyroid cancer, you really should make sure to attend a Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference. ThyCa is always there to help and give all the support and information you need to help make the journey with thyroid cancer easier to survive.

Come and see what it’s all about! Hope to see you there!

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32 Physicians Confirmed for the Conference

15th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference
October 19 – 21, 2012
Register Online or by Mail
Details on our website

On October 19 – 21, 2012, you’re invited to meet and learn from 32 distinguished physicians, plus numerous other specialists and hundreds of other thyroid cancer survivors like you. You’ll be able to choose from more than 100 sessions and topics, with varied choices and speakers in 6 different rooms at each time period during the day.

The 15th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference will bring together thyroid cancer survivors, caregivers, and health care professionals and other specialists at the beautiful Eaglewood Resort and Spa in Itasca, Illinois, located near Chicago as well as near O’Hare Airport and several major highways.

More than 40 leading medical professionals will speak during the weekend. Some will lead more than one sessions. It’s a tremendous opportunity to get answers to your question and learn the latest about treatment, followup, and research, including clinical trials.

Early-bird registration is open, both online and by mail. You’re welcome to attend for one, two, or all three days. There are discounts for guests and ThyCa members. Scholarships are available on request to cover the registration fee. Hotel rooms are available for $99 for single, double, triple, or quad. Conference details are on the web site.

Our speakers are coming from major centers in the United States and Mexico, and include nine members of ThyCa’s Medical Advisory Council:

  • Beth Israel Medical Center, New York
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Ohio
  • Hospital Angeles de las Lomas, Mexico
  • Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Maryland
  • Mayo Clinic, Minnesota
  • Medical College of Wisconsin, Wisconsin
  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York
  • National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Maryland
  • North Shore University Hospital, New York
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Illinois
  • Northwestern University Medical School, Illinois
  • Ohio State University College of Medicine, Ohio
  • Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Maryland
  • University of Chicago, Illinois
  • University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Colorado
  • University of Connecticut Health Center, Connecticut
  • University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania
  • University of Southern California, California
  • University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Texas
  • Yale University School of Medicine, Connecticut
  • and more medical professionals are being confirmed!

Also confirmed:

  • A Cancer Rights Attorney
  • Speakers from the Hypoparathyroidism Association, Idaho
  • Sessions on coping skills and complementary approaches to well-being
  • Roundtable leaders and participants from ThyCa and collaborating organizations focusing on cancer and thyroid issues

More About the Conference

Conference Registration is now open! Register early and get the early-bird discount! You can register either online, or by mail, for one, two, or all three days. Go to, and select the Conference web page, to register.

The web site has added details about the hotel, as well as driving directions and highlights of nearby attractions. The conference web page also has airline discount and car rental discount information and links. Online and call-in hotel room reservations are now open at on the Conferences web page.

Praise for the Conference, from last year’s attendees:

  • Lots of terrific information and sharing.
  • Excellent content, organization, and mood/friendliness.
  • One to one with doctors was the best feature
  • Good relaxed approach for getting to know people and their concerns
  • This was my first ThyCa Conference — Fantastic

Looking forward to seeing you at the Conference!

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Dinner/Auction Research Fundraiser Features Varied Items

On Saturday, October 20, 2012, you’re invited to join us at the Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Itasca, Illinois for a wonderful evening of connections, camaraderie, and fundraising for Thyroid Cancer Research.

At this year’s event we’re going to honor our dear friend, and long-time contributor and ThyCa Medical Advisor, Dr. Ernie Mazzaferri.

This annual event was initiated 10 years ago by ThyCa volunteer Joni Eskenazi of Mercer Island, Washington.

We all share the dream of research for cures for all thyroid cancer. You may reserve your seat at the 11th Annual Dinner/Auction for Thyroid Cancer Research by using the online form or downloading the mail in form available on our Conferences web page at

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Free Thyroid Cancer Webinars in August and September

In September, ThyCa will present two new free webinars on thyroid cancer. You’re invited to watch and listen from your home or office.

  • On September 12, 2012, at 1 p.m. ET Jeffrey F. Moley, M.D., will speak and answer questions about Surgery in the Care of Medullary Thyroid Cancer. Go to ThyCa’s Webinar page for further details and to sign up.
  • On September 24, 2012, at 3 p.m. ET, Bryan R. Haugen, M.D., Endocrinologist, will speak and answer questions about Thyrogen (rhTSH) and its role in the management of differentiated thyroid cancer (papillary, follicular, and their variants). Go to ThyCa’sWebinarr page for further details and to sign up.
  • The August 23 Webinar on Molecular Imaging and Treatment for the Thyroid will be available online in an archive. Andrei Iagaru, M.D., and Alan Farwell, M.D., were the speakers. Visit Discover MI. This webinar was sponsored by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, and ThyCa and ATA partnered in outreach support.

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Stacey’s StoryBy Stacey C. of New York

My story began last July when I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Papillary Thyroid Cancer just one month after my wedding in June 2011.

Earlier, during an annual office visit with my primary care physician, the doctor found 2 nodules along my throat and referred me to an endocrinologist. At the time, the nodules were too tiny to biopsy, so I was scheduled for a follow-up ultrasound a month after my wedding.

The ultrasound showed that my nodules had grown and I should go for a biopsy. The biopsy results revealed Papillary Thyroid Cancer in its early stages. I had a total thyroidectomy and partial lymph node dissection (4 were removed) in late August, and then, in early November, a treatment dose of radioactive iodine.

I will have my one year testing in November 2012 and hope to continue a healthy lifestyle, including lifetime monitoring of my thyroid cancer. I ran my first Half Marathon in New York City in March 2012. In honor of Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, I will be running in the Hamptons Half Marathon in September 2012 with the American Cancer Society. My cancer diagnosis has caused me to change my life for the better, and it has motivated me to be the healthiest I can be.

I am so grateful for my family and friends who have stayed by my side through this entire ordeal, and for ThyCa and all the services it made available to me.

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Stay Connected and Informed

Patients, caregivers, and health care professionals in 96 countries are now receiving ThyCa’s free education, support services, and mailed materials. Our web site has information and downloadable materials in English, Chinese, French, Japanese, and Spanish.

Free Newsletter and Guestbook

We invite you to join our worldwide network. We want to help you stay connected and informed. Our mission is to be there for every person affected by thyroid cancer.

By signing up in ThyCa’s free Guestbook, you’ll receive the latest news about thyroid cancer, new free publications, events, and more.

If you haven’t already signed up, we invite you to sign up today:

Every Day: Free Webinars

Listen, and learn from experts, anywhere you are in the world. Six important topics. The speakers are ThyCa medical advisors.

  1. Papillary Follicular Thyroid Cancer—A Primer
  2. Papillary/Follicular Thyroid Cancer—Persistent Disease
  3. Medullary Thyroid Cancer—A Primer
  4. Medullary Thyroid Cancer—Persistent Disease
  5. Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer
  6. . Pediatric Thyroid Cancer

All 6 webinars are available, free, anytime at

New webinars scheduled, too! Visit the Webinar page for details and updates.

Every Week: Meet and Learn

You’re invited to free Thyroid Cancer Support Group Meetings in dozens of locations. The web pages with details for all the groups are here: If you don’t see a group listed near you, find out how ThyCa can help you start a new ThyCa Support Group. Just e-mail to us

Free Events with Experts in California, Delaware, Illinois, Quebec, and for People Worldwide

  • September 7, 2012, Chicago, Illinois. Cancer Legal Rights Conference. Sponsored by the Cancer Legal Resource Center. ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc., is pleased to partner with CLRC in this event. Details at
  • September 12, 2012 at 1 p.m. ET. Free Webinar sponsored by ThyCa, with Dr. Moley speaking on Surgery in Medullary Thyroid Cancer.
  • September 12, 2012. Newark, Delaware. Free Thyroid Cancer Expert Panel Program with 5 Speakers. Hosted by the ThyCa Newark Delaware Support Group. To register, call Cindy Waddington at 302- 623-4707 or e-mail to
  • September 22, 2012. Quebec City, Quebec. Free Thyroid Disease Public Health Forum, sponsored by the American Thyroid Association with ThyCa a partnering co-sponsor.
  • September 24, 2012, at 3 p.m. ET. Free Webinar sponsored by ThyCa, with Dr. Haugen speaking on Thyrogen (rhTSH) and its use in the management of differentiated thyroid cancer (papillary, follicular, and their variants).
  • October 5, 2012. Madera, California. Cancer Legal Rights Conference. Sponsored by the Cancer Legal Resource Center. ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc., is pleased to partner with CLRC in this event. Details at
  • October 6, 2012. Redondo Beach, California. Thyroid Cancer Seminar: Ask a Doctor. Hosted by the ThyCa South Bay L.A. Support Group. For more information, contact Cheryl Moulton at 310-316-3077 or e-mail to
  • October 13, 2012. Fresno, California. Thyroid Cancer Seminar with Physician Speakers. Hosted by the ThyCa Fresno Support Group. For details, call Facilitator Anjali Kapoor-Davis at 559-260-1870 or e-mail to

For details, updates, and more coming events, visit our Calendar of Events:

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Hypoparathyroidism: New Site, Support, Survey

If you have or know someone who deals with hypoparathyroidism, below are two web sites with helpful information about hypoparathyroidism.

Hypoparathyroidism is a deficiency of parathyroid hormone (PTH) in the body resulting in low levels of calcium in the blood. Some thyroid cancer patients experience hypoparathyroidism due to the accidental removal of or damage to the parathyroid glands during thyroid surgery.

  • Site sponsored by the Hypoparathyroidism Association
  • Site sponsored by NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Visit ThyCa’s home page for a new survey for people with Hypoparathyroidism. The survey was developed by NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which develops drugs related to skeletal, endocrinological, and other body systems.
  • We’re pleased to announce that Julie Hunsaker and Carol Sanders of the nonprofit Hypoparathyroidism Association will again lead sessions at the International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference, being held this year on October 19-21, 2012. Thank you very much to the Hypoparathyroidism Association for the support and education you provide, and to Julie Hunsaker and Carol Sanders for your participation again at the Conference.

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Low-Iodine Recipe of the MonthPlus Some TipsContributed by Lily W. of California

Chilled Peach Soup

4 fresh peaches
1/4 cup fresh juice from oranges, clementines, or tangerines
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon non-iodized salt

Boil 3 quarts of water. Score peaches with a knife. Blanch peaches for 1 minute. Drop peaches into ice water. Peel and cube peaches. Add all ingredients into blender; blend until smooth. Add water to create the desired consistency (approx 2 cups). Refrigerate at least an hour before serving.

Makes 6 servings.


  • You can also skip the blanching step and just chop peaches with the skins. The soup will be a darker color but the skins are nutritious.
  • Skip the salt and this makes a great base for smoothies.

Both options are great ways to enjoy the summer fruit regardless of the time of year.

Some Tips –

  • Freeze portions of your favorite summer fruits to enjoy during your low-iodine diet; this is great in the winter when fresh fruit options may be limited.
  • Dress your favorite fruit salad with tangerine or Clementine juice.
  • Puree roma tomatoes in the food processor to use for base of tomato sauce or gazpacho. Freeze in 2-cup containers.

Thank you, Lily, for contributing this recipe and tips. We will include them in the next edition of ThyCa’s FREE Downloadable Low-Iodine Cookbook.

Free and Downloadable

Download the 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:

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.

To contribute your favorite recipe or tip, send it to

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Join Us, Become a Member

Help us sustain, strengthen, and extend our services. We invite you to become a member of 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 Membership Messenger newsletter.

Membership is open to everyone worldwide. You may become a 1-year ThyCa member ($25), 2-year member ($45), or lifetime member ($225). For our online Membership Form and our mailed Membership Form, visit our Membership page.

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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. Your generous support, in the time you give and in financial contributions, is what makes it possible to sustain, strengthen, and expand our services and outreach.

It only takes a minute to volunteer your time by e-mailing to or to make a donation online in support of ThyCa’s work (or you are welcome to donate by mail to ThyCa, P.O. Box 964, Chesterfield, MO 63006-0964), so click here to give.

Thank you!

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Copyright (c) 2012 ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.

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

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

Thank you to our writing, editing, and proofreading team for this issue: Stacey C., Leah Guljord, Pat Paillard, Barb Statas, Lily W., Cherry Wunderlich, and Gary Bloom.

The information in this newsletter is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended, nor should it be interpreted, as medical advice or directions of any kind. Readers are advised to consult their own medical doctor(s) for all matters involving their health and medical care.

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