ThyCa NEWS NOTES – July 2010

In This Issue

Partner in the 10th Anniversary of Worldwide Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month this September

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month is a worldwide observance each September, initiated by ThyCa volunteers 10 years ago, and sponsored by ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association.

This annual observance promotes thyroid cancer awareness for early detection, as well as care based on expert standards, survivor and caregiver education and support, and increased research to achieve cures for all thyroid cancer.

We invite you and your organization to collaborate and partner with ThyCa in the 2010 Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month in September. Already people in 55 countries participate each year.

When you become a partner, we ask that you help promote Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month through your own Internet networks and community events. You and your organization will be acknowledged as a participating partner in ThyCa’s newsletters and on our web site. We will also include information about your organization at the 13th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference, both on the Resource Tables and in the Program Booklet given to all attendees.

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Tim Clark and the Pediatric Backpack Program Going StrongBy Betsy Clark

Tim Clark, my son, is the remarkable young man who developed the Pediatric Backpack Project as part of the requirements to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Tim is a high school senior, works part time for a landscaping business, plays soccer, and takes part in track as a sprinter and pole vaulter for his high school. In the winter, he is a ski instructor. He is also a thyroid cancer survivor.

Tim is very humbled by the tremendous response from everyone about his pediatric backpack project. When another Thank You note comes in, he reads it, shares it with his family, and marks the sender’s location on a map before adding it to his collection. Our family is pleased and proud of what ThyCa and Tim have accomplished.

(Editor’s Note: The backpacks go to families around the world, most recently to Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Quebec, Canada. A longer article about Tim and the Backpack Project will soon be published in ThyCa’s Membership Messenger newsletter, mailed to ThyCa members.Click here for more information about the Backpack Project.

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New Edition of Thyroid Cancer Reference Book Expands with 40 Authors, 40 Chapters

The new Second Edition of Thyroid Cancer: A Guide for Patients is now available from ThyCa. This important reference book has expanded by 33% to 434 pages, with updates as well as numerous new chapters on key topics in thyroid cancer care and research.

The 40 authors include 32 distinguished medical professionals in centers in the United States and Canada, plus thyroid cancer survivors and a caregiver. The authors include endocrinologists, surgeons, nuclear medicine physicians, radiologists, and specialists in pathology, public health, research, and mental health. Editors are Douglas Van Nostrand, M.D., Leonard Wartofsky, M.D., Gary Bloom, & Kanchan Kulkarni, M.B.B.S.

Authors include three past presidents of the American Thyroid Association, a past president of The Endocrine Society, and faculty at medical schools and medical education programs in USA and Canada. The forewords are by Ernest L. Mazzaferri, M.D., Endocrinologist, Past President, American Thyroid Association, and R. Michael Tuttle, M.D., Endocrinologist, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

“This book provides easily understandable, clear, concise answers to nearly all of the common questions that patients ask me in the office, on follow-up phone calls, and at survivorship conferences… This book will provide the information necessary for you to help your physicians optimize and customize many aspects of the journey for your individual situation,” writes Dr. Tuttle.

New chapters focus on thyroid cancer in pregnancy, variants of well-differentiated thyroid cancer (including: columnar, Hurthle cell, insular, tall cell), re-operative thyroid surgery, management of bone metastasis, and many other topics. This large-format book from Keystone Press also has more than 80 tables, checklists, and illustrations.

Published in June 2010, this expanded second edition is available at the same price as for the first edition, from ThyCa. The order form is on the Reference Book page. ThyCa volunteers mail the copies by priority mail. Proceeds from orders sent by ThyCa help support our free education and support services, outreach, and thyroid cancer research grants.

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Seven Medical Professionals To Speak at Free California Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Workshop, July 17

On Saturday, July 17, 2010, thyroid cancer survivors, caregivers, and friends are invited to the California Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Workshop, sponsored by ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.

This free event takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Stanford Cancer Center, 2nd Floor Conference Room, 875 Blake Wilbur, Stanford, California.

Speakers include:

  • Haruko Akatsu, M.D., M.S., Endocrinologist, Stanford University Medical Center
  • Benjamin Fisch, M.D., Thyroid Cancer Survivor, Radiation Oncologist, Kaiser Permanente, Santa Clara Homestead Medical Center
  • Ross McDougall, M.D., Ph.D., Nuclear Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center
  • Wen T. Shen M.D., Endocrine Surgeon, University of California at San Francisco Medical Center
  • Ava Wu, D.D.S., Oral Medicine, University of California at San Francisco School of Dentistry
  • Michael Yao M.D., ENT, Stanford University Medical Center

The day’s schedule and session topics are on

You are invited to come for all or part of this free educational and supportive day. You are encouraged to register online to ensure that you get in to this great event, because the auditorium seats only 75 people, or you can register onsite at the workshop (space permitting). For more information, e-mail to or or call 1-877-588-7904.

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Free Expanded New Low-Iodine Diet Cookbook is Here, Bigger, Better

The new, expanded edition of the free downloadable Low Iodine Cookbook is now on the web site! It has so many delicious and easy recipes (more than 340 recipes from more than 150 volunteers) for you to try when on the low-iodine diet.

Download it before you go on the Low-Iodine Diet. Use the cookbook in advance, and make some meals, and freeze them. Think of how nice it will be to have some of these delicious meals frozen and ready to go, especially when you’re too tired to cook while on the diet!

You can also share recipes with people who want to help you, and have them prepare a meal … and they will be pleased to learn the meals are delicious even if you’re not on the diet!

We have received many letters from people who are truly grateful for this cookbook and its wonderful dishes. Get your free copy today.

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My Volunteering StoryBy Pat Paillard of Pennsylvania

When I was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer I didn’t know where to turn. I never knew anyone who had it.

The night I was diagnosed I went onto ThyCa’s web site. Wow! There were other people who had this disease! I was not alone after all!

I got so much from the site, I couldn’t believe it. These people really care about others who share their disease and make sure they get all the information and support they need in their journey with thyroid cancer. I consider ThyCa my “new family.”

Well, I really don’t know why I started writing down feelings that I had in relation to my disease, but it happened. I sent a little poem I had written, “The Uninvited Guest,” to ThyCa. It was displayed at the 2006 Conference!

I then communicated with the person at ThyCa who handles publications. I sent in a couple more things I had written down. I have been to three conferences and my writings have been placed on the Creative Expressions Table each year. I was invited to join the Publications Committee. These people at ThyCa make you feel needed and useful.

Each time I attend a conference I try to help out any way I can. While helping, I get to meet so many nice people and I really feel good helping others. After all, we are all survivors, or caregivers and friends, and through ThyCa we are helping “spread the word” about thyroid cancer so that no one will feel “alone” when dealing with it.

Two years ago I received an invitation to join another committee, and thought that maybe it would be a good idea to help out with the E-mail Response Team. There are three of us, plus others who help. We answer e-mails from “newbies,” people who are going on the low-iodine diet and have questions, people who are anxious or scared before their upcoming surgery, and people who may just want a free Patient Information Packet.

I have found this to be a great way to “give back” for the care, concern, and support I got from ThyCa. Some of the people I write to write back and tell me how wonderful the web site is, how the cookbook helped them out, how they are so happy to have this resource. It feels good to help other survivors in this way.

Last year at the Conference, I attended the Support Group Facilitators training session. I thought that as I was doing e-mail support, perhaps face-to-face as a group facilitator would be another way to ease the journey for fellow ThyCans. I filled out the application, send it along to ThyCa, received training, found a location for my group. and got the go-ahead. ThyCa NW Philly was born! We are a small group, but strong. I hope to make it larger and have sent letters to endocrinologists, posted signs, and placed notices in the local newspaper in hopes of reaching more people. I guess when something is new you have to give it time.

Who knows what the future holds for my volunteering for ThyCa?! I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what comes up next.

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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).

A volunteer committee will review the writings and photos. We will showcase and publish several in the Photo Gallery and Survivors’ and Caregivers’ Album. We also will announce the winners in a future newsletter and will choose several for consideration for a future newsletter on the Web site.

Add your voice to ThyCa and embrace your community of fellow survivors, caregivers, and friends who care about helping others coping with thyroid cancer, and supporting research to defeat this disease.

Find out more about ThyCa’s 15th Anniversary Year and ways to help connect and grow our community— visit the Raise Awareness page.

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From the E-Mail Box

From California:
“Thank you so much…your website is terrific!”

From a medical group in Florida:
“Can you please send some of your Thyca patient cards and your resource information materials for patients. We are out of the items at our practice.”

From Philippines:
“I hope you can give me a free brochure. I just want to know about Thyroid Cancer. Thank you & God Bless…”

From Kansas:
“I’m glad I found your website. It’s very informative and has helped put my mind at ease.”

From a supporter who purchased the Beaded Bracelet, a ThyCa Spirit/Awareness item:
“OMG!! It’s beautiful! I love this bracelet, and it fits PERfectly.”

From California:
“I LOVE this site! It has really educated me, and kept me sane at the same time…thank you so much for your efforts in making it work so beautifully for us!”

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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 or give away any contact information.

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Come to the Conference

The 13th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference is only about three-and-a-half months away. It will be held in Dallas, Texas, this year from Friday, October 15 through Sunday, October 17.

These annual conferences are filled with information, support, and very caring and helpful people. Whether you are a “newbie, longtime survivor, or a friend or family member of a survivor, you will take away more from these conferences than you can imagine.

Online registration and hotel reservations are now open on ThyCa’s web site. Go to our Conferences section. We hope to see you this year. It will be another great conference!

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More Speakers Confirmed

We’re honored to announce that more than 25 leading medical professionals are confirmed for the Conference. The speakers specialists in every type of thyroid cancer. They are coming from the following centers:

  • Cleveland Clinic, Ohio
  • Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts
  • Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Maryland
  • M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Texas
  • Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Massachusetts
  • National Cancer Institute, Maryland
  • New Mexico State University, New Mexico
  • New York University Clinical Cancer Center, New York
  • Ohio State University Cancer Center, Ohio
  • University of Chicago Medical Center, Illinois
  • University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, Colorado
  • University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania
  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Texas
  • Yale University School of Medicine, Connecticut
  • ore speakers are being confirmed.

Help spread the word about this unique event. All of us can help make this the best-attended Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference ever!

Download the flyer from our Conference page on Or send an e-mail to conference@thyca.orgwith your mailing address, and we’ll send you a stack of flyers to distribute. Visit the web site often for updates and volunteer opportunities, as well as registration.

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Free Patient Resource Available

The Patient Resource Cancer Guide publications from Patient Resource Publishing prepare newly diagnosed and newly re-staged cancer patients to become their own advocates. The goal of Patient Resource Publishing is to empower cancer patients by giving them information to assist them in planning their treatment and choice of medical facility. We believe an informed patient, a patient who is proactive in choosing the right facility and treatment for his or her type of cancer, is a patient who stands a better chance of survival. To read more or order a free copy, go to

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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 webmasters make new additions or updates. One of June’s additions was the expanded 7th Edition of the Free Downloadable Low-Iodine Cookbook.

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 Erin R.

Granita(Homemade Italian Ice)

1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
Approximately 10 cups cubed watermelon
6 limes

Boil water and sugar to make a simple syrup. Cool for about 15 minutes.
Fill a blender with half of the cubed watermelon, half of the simple syrup, and the juice of three limes.
Puree to make a liquid.
Pour into a 9×13 baking pan.
Repeat with remaining watermelon, simple syrup, and lime juice. Than pour the liquid into the same baking pan.
Put in the freezer for half an hour. Remove from the freezer, and scrape across the top with a fork. You’ll need to break apart the edges, as they freeze first. The middle will still have liquid. Distribute through the entire pan.
Return to the freezer for an additional twenty minutes. Remove from the freezer, and scrape with a fork again.
Return to the freezer for a final twenty minutes. At this point, it should be fairly solid.

This can be made with a wide variety of fresh fruit.
Strawberry/lemon and lemon/lime are delicious too!

Erin writes, “As soon as I found out I was going to have to have a radioactive iodine treatment again this summer, I immediately went to to download the cookbook. Thanks so much to everyone for sharing!”

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

Download the new 7th edition of the Low-Iodine Cookbook in English for free, with more than 3400 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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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). Click here for our secure online Membership Form and our mailed Membership Form.

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Events Preview

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

  • Every Month. ThyCa’s Thyroid Cancer Support Group Meetings in Your Community.
  • Saturday, July 17, 2010, Stanford, California. The California Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Workshop with Physician Speakers.
  • 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 giv.

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Your Ideas?

What sections of ThyCa’s web site do you find most helpful? What suggestions do you have for ThyCa’s web site? E-mail your answers and ideas to

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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 of the newsletter: Betsy Clark, Leah Guljord, Pat Paillard, Erin R., Barbara Statas, 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, or write PO Box 1102, Olney, MD 20830-110.