ThyCa NEWS NOTES – July 2009

In This Issue:

ThyCa Awards New 2009 Research Grants

July 24, 2009—ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc., is proud to announce two new 2009 ThyCa Research Grants plus two continuation grants. The grant recipients were selected by an independent expert panel of the American Thyroid Association (ATA).

In addition, ThyCa has awarded two continuation grants to recipients of ThyCa’s 2008 grant awards.

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. They have been awarded to researchers in the United States, as well as in France, Germany, and Switzerland. ThyCa has awarded more than $550,000 for thyroid cancer research.

The 2009 new ThyCa grant recipients are:

  • Dingxie Liu, M.D., Ph.D. of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, for his 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 his project “Somatostatin-coupled Nanoparticles for Imaging and Therapy of Medullary Thyroid Cancer.”

ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association has also awarded a second year of funding to its two 2008 grant recipients, also selected by ATA’s independent panel:

  • Mike S. Fenton, Ph.D., Assistant Researcher, Endocrinology, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)/Veterans Affairs West Los Angeles Health Care System, Los Angeles, California.
  • Libero Santarpia, M.D., Ph.D., Instructor, Endocrine Neoplasia and Hormonal Disorders, The University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

ThyCa’s grants, now in their seventh year, are made possible through the contributions from thousands of thyroid cancer survivors, family members, and friends who want to support increased research to find cures for all thyroid cancer, one of the few cancers increasing in incidence.

ThyCa receives donations in support of this effort ranging from $5.00 up to $10,000.00. We invite everyone’s participation. Together we are able to support research even though most of us couldn’t on our own—fund independently reviewed research toward cures for all thyroid cancers.

“ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association is proud to raise much-needed funds for thyroid cancer research, and grateful to our many donors,” said ThyCa Executive Director Gary Bloom. “We greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with the ATA. We’re especially pleased to support the best thyroid cancer research projects proposed by young investigators, with applications open to researchers and research centers worldwide.”

Grant recipients from 2003 through 2009 include researchers at these institutions:

  • Cochin Institut, Paris, France
  • Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
  • Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, and Medical University of Gdansk, Poland
  • Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois
  • University of California Los Angeles/Veterans Affairs West Los Angeles Health Care System, Los Angeles, California
  • University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  • University Hospital Duesseldorf, Duesseldorf, Germany
  • University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

ThyCa has two Research Funds. One fund supports research on follicular-cell-derived thyroid cancer, including papillary, follicular, anaplastic, and variants. The other fund supports research on medullary thyroid cancer.

Both funds welcome contributions of any size. ThyCa is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and all donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Please check with your tax advisor if you have any questions.

ThyCa invites everyone to join us in our quest to find a cure for all thyroid cancer, one of the few cancers increasing in incidence in recent years.

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Numerous Distinguished Physicians Confirmed for ThyCa Conference in October
Plan To Attend!

Educational and Supportive Event Features 100 Sessions Designed for Those Affected by Thyroid Cancer

On October 16-18, 2009, you are cordially invited to attend the 12th Annual International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference at the Sheraton Ferncroft Hotel near Boston, Massachusetts, at 50 Ferncroft Road, Danvers, Massachusetts.

This unique educational and supportive event will feature more than 100 informative sessions designed for those whose lives have been touched by thyroid cancer.

Thyroid cancer, one of the few cancers increasing in incidence, is expected to reach a total of 37,200 people newly diagnosed in the United States in 2009. This conference is designed to offer the latest information from experts, plus peer support from hundreds of others who understand what you’re going through, for those impacted by every type of thyroid cancer.

The program features expert presentations and sessions on a variety of topics such as:

  • The latest medical advances in thyroid cancer treatment and follow-up
  • Clinical trials and updated research
  • Unique Ask-a-Doctor sessions
  • Survivor-caregiver roundtables
  • Coping skills and strategies to improve well-being

“The Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference is the key international event focused specifically on support and education for those affected by thyroid cancer,” said Gary Bloom, ThyCa Executive Director, Conference Co-Coordinator, and 13-year survivor of thyroid cancer. “We are honored to bring together such an impressive group of people to share knowledge and experiences, learn from experts, and build camaraderie with those impacted by this terrible disease.”

Numerous distinguished institutions around the United States will be represented including:

  • Boston University Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Children’s Hospital of Boston, Boston, Massachusetts
  • The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Harvard Institutes of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
  • Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio
  • University of Connecticut Medical Center, Storrs, Connecticut
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
  • University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
  • Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC

More than 20 medical professionals have already been confirmed.

In addition to the physician speakers, we plan also to have more than 30 additional speakers and roundtable leaders who will include other health care professionals, specialists in coping skills and complementary approaches to well-being such as Reiki, survivors of each type of thyroid cancer, as well as caregivers.

For the third year in a row, the conference expects also to offer continuing education credits to nurses.

The conference is open to the public, and registration begins at 8 a.m. each day with walk-ins welcome. Cost for the complete conference is $50, with discounts available to ThyCa members and scholarships available upon request.

Please check our website in the conferences section for details and updates.

We’re excited about the tremendous program being planned, and hope to see you at the conference.

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Conference Registration and Hotel Room Reservations Now Open

We’re pleased to announce that registration for The 12th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference is now open.

You may register by mail or on-line. Cost of registration is $45 full fee; $35 Annual ThyCa Member; $30 Lifetime ThyCa Member; $25 Guest (family member or caregiver); $25 for One-Day Attendance. Early-bird Discount will be given to those who register on line by September 16th or by mail that is postmarked by September 16, 2009. After September 16th the cost goes up by $5 for each registration category. Scholarships are available for anyone who can’t afford the registration fee.

Visit our website for the registration form options.

This year’s conference will be held at the Sheraton Ferncroft Hotel in Danvers, Massachusetts which is located about 20 miles north of Boston. We’re proud to have arranged special room rates of $99 plus tax for single, double, triple, or quad rooms at this wonderful hotel, which is in a wonderful location with free parking, and features numerous amenities. You’ll find the hotel details and room reservation information on our website or by calling 877-588-7904.

Tickets for the Saturday Evening Dinner/Auction to raise much needed funds for thyroid cancer research (held on October 17) can be purchased on line or by mail and cost $50 per ticket. This event raises funds for Thyroid Cancer Research and is also a lot of fun. Help ThyCa raise funds so we all can continue funding thyroid cancer research (now 7 straight years, and more than $550,000). The web site has the reservation form.

Hope to see you at the conference in October!

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Our Free Guestbook

It’s quick and easy to sign up to receive our free online newsletter, plus announcements of ThyCa events and activities. It’s a great way to stay connected to the thyroid cancer community, and to stay up to date on changes in treatments and testing methods, especially if you’re a long-term survivor.

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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ThyCa Supports Awareness, Early Detection, and Neck Checks

In July, an article in the New York Times focused on cancer screening and questioned its usefulness, including neck checks for early detection of thyroid cancer. ThyCa disagrees with the author, and has written to the New York Times saying so. Participants in ThyCa e-mail support groups also disagreed with the author, and encouraged each other to write as well.

Raising awareness is something each of us can do every day. Awareness, early detection, and neck checks not only can save lives but also can greatly simplify and reduce the costs of treating thyroid cancer. Our dream is that all thyroid cancer will be detected at Stage 1 when it is simplest and easiest to treat, often with just surgery alone.

ThyCa has numerous free materials to help you raise awareness of thyroid cancer. You can download flyers at no charge from our web site. Or e-mail or call ThyCa for our awareness brochures and plastic wallet cards for you to give to friends, family, community groups, and medical professionals.

Every day can offer an opportunity for raising awareness. You’re invited to get involved. Thank you!

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ThyCa Participates at Academy of General Dentistry Annual Meeting

We are pleased to report that ThyCa representative Gary Bloom participated at the Annual Meeting of The American Academy of General Dentistry in July in Washington, DC. This meeting offered a wonderful opportunity to network with dentists, many of whom do neck checks to aid early detection of thyroid cancer as well as other head and neck cancers, regarding the importance of early detection of thyroid cancer, which is the most common endocrine cancer.

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Support Group Meetings – Welcome and Invitation

Every month, more than 60 thyroid cancer support groups hold meetings. Support group meetings are open to everyone whose lives have been touched by thyroid cancer.

The meetings offer wonderful opportunities to meet others in person and share experiences, strength, and hope while learning from others with varied situations with their thyroid cancer. Advance registration not required.

We have welcomed many new Support Groups this year, and thank all the wonderful volunteers who have stepped forward to form them. We also congratulate our many ongoing support groups for their ability to positively impact the lives of so many people affected by a thyroid cancer diagnosis.

Welcome to the newest support groups, located in Wichita, Kansas, and Cleveland, Ohio.

Go to our Support Groups page for a complete list of groups, contact information, and meeting schedules. Or, if you don’t have internet access, call (toll-free): 877-588-7904

If you’re interested in starting a group in your area, contact or 877-588-7904.

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Free Patient Information Packets

Would you, or someone you know, like our free Patient Information Packet? Just send an e-mail with your name and complete mailing address to us at, with “patient packet” in the subject, or call us at 1-877-588-7904 and we’ll be happy to mail the packet.

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What’s New on the Web Site?

Our web site has more than 650 pages of content. More than 50 distinguished physicians plus numerous other specialists provide ongoing input and review. We greatly appreciate the wonderful support of these medical specialists.

We update and expand the web site every week. Thank you to our Web team, Betty Solbjor and Joel Amromin; our Publications Committee members; and our Medical Reviewers.

Visit often for the latest information updates, the schedules of local support group meetings, and news about special events, or to get involved.

And let us know if you have ideas for additional web site content, as well as additional questions to be answered by physicians. E-mail your ideas to This is our web site, and it benefits from everyone’s contribution. It’s also a great way to start being involved!

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Surgery Survey Coming Soon to

The online survey instrument will give you the opportunity to share some details about your thyroid surgery. We’ll soon post details and the survey instrument on our website.

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From the E-Mail Box

A few of our recent e-mails…

I want to say I appreciate your free service and support.

From West Virginia
I love your website!

From California
I just sent in my membership, and would like to see if I can get some of the wallet-size cards like the one you enclosed in my application. I would like to give them to my doctor to give out to patients like me. Your organization makes such a difference to me,

From Ontario, Canada
Thanks ever so much for the quick reply to my e-mail. Much appreciated! Thanks for the other information links as well.

From Washington
How do we — Nuclear Medicine, Endocrinology Department – obtain the pamphlets with Catherine Bell’s picture on it?

From Florida
I have recently been diagnosed with thyroid cancer and have had my thyroid removed. I have been given your website as a resource and would like any helpful information and assistance you can provide.

From Texas
If possible, may I request 100 brochures describing your organization? I work in a cancer hospital and these items go quickly.

From California
And I’d like to thank you for making this website available. It’s been fantastic to have this information and support so quickly at hand.

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Are You a Member? You’re Invited To Become a One-Year, Two-Year, or Lifetime 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.

You may join as a one-year member ($25), two-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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Low-Iodine Recipe Tips of the Month

Contributed by Jo Walker of Arizona

Don’t feel deprived while eating your low iodine diet (LID):

Upgrade your meals with avocado instead of butter, sour cream and cheese:

  • Mashed avacado instead of sour cream or butter on your baked potato
  • Sliced or mashed avocado on sandwiches instead of cheese and mayonnaise
  • Mashed avocado on toast or bagels instead of cream cheese or butter
  • Chopped avacado in a salad or omelet instead of cheese
  • Add another step and make guacamole by adding chopped onion, chili pepper, cilantro, and tomato.

Avocados are great on so many things, and really dress up meals.

Enjoy your enhanced meal!

Thank you, Jo! We’ll let people know about these recipe tips in the next edition of the FREE Downloadable Low-Iodine Cookbook.

Download the 6th edition of the Low-Iodine Cookbook for free, with more than 250 favorite recipes from more than 100 generous volunteers. The Cookbook is also available in Spanish. 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 the 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 to the cookbook’s next edition, send it to

One-Page Summary- Low-Iodine Diet Guidelines:

  • in English
  • in Spanish

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Help Support the 2009 Rally for Research

Thanks to generous contributions and special fundraising events, ThyCa has awarded new thyroid cancer research grants in support of our goal of cures for all thyroid cancer and a future free of thyroid cancer, for the 7th year in a row.

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Want To Volunteer?

We welcome new volunteers at any time. Volunteering for ThyCa is one way to help and support others touched by thyroid cancer, and you feel much better yourself because you know you have helped someone else through something you’ve been through. Try it; you might like it!

To learn about volunteer opportunities, visit our Volunteer page. You can sign-up to volunteer online using our guestbook

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Thank You From ThyCa!

We believe that no one should have to be alone when facing thyroid cancer.

Our free support services are offered with this as our main goal.

We thank everyone for giving your time and talents to making possible our free services, publications, and events.

We’re grateful to you for reaching out to others worldwide, to help connect them with ThyCa’s many free support services and educational resources.

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You’re Invited To These Upcoming Thyroid Cancer Events!

  • Thyroid Cancer Support Group Meetings in Your Community
  • September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, sponsored by ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. Get free awareness materials year-round from ThyCa.
  • September 11 and 12, 2009. Colorado Thyroid Cancer Symposium for Physicians and Patients, with physician speakers, sponsored by the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center with cooperation and participation of ThyCa. This event is free. For details about the seminar time and location, contact the ThyCa Denver Support Group at
  • September 26, 2009. Thyroid Disease Public Health Forum with physician speakers about all thyroid diseases, being held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Thyroid Association. Sponsored by the ATA Alliance for Patient Education, including ThyCa. This free event is from 1 – 3 p.m. at The Breakers Hotel, One South County Road, Palm Beach, Florida. Walk-in attendees welcome. To let us know you’re attending, e-mail and let us know the thyroid condition in which you’re most interested.
  • The 12th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference
    October 16-18, 2009 starting at 8 a.m. each day with session choices all day.
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Sheraton Ferncroft Hotel in Danvers
    Sponsored by ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.
    Distinguished physician speakers. Details, registration, and hotel room reservations now available on ThyCa’s web site.
  • The 8th Annual Dinner-Auction To Support Thyroid Cancer Research.
    October 17, 2009 from 6 – 9 p.m.
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Sheraton Ferncroft Hotel in Danvers
    Sponsored by ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.
  • November 14, 2009. Pittsburgh Thyroid Cancer Seminar with physician speakers. Free. Further details about the seminar time and location will be posted on our website.

Visit for details. Download the conference flyer and
help spread the word.

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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 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), so click here to give.

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Ask ThyCa

If you have questions about thyroid cancer, please send them to and we’ll answer your question in an upcoming newsletter as well as adding to our web site content.

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Tell ThyCa

If you have a story or anecdote about your thyroid cancer journey that you would like to share, please send it to and we’ll do our best to include it in an upcoming newsletter as well as adding to our web site content.

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Copyright (c) 2009 ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.

Thank you to our writing, editing, and proofreading team for this issue of the newsletter: Leah Guljord, Pat Paillard, Jo Walker, 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 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.