ThyCa NEWS NOTES – July 2011

In This Issue:

Thyroid Cancer Diagnoses Predicted To Set New Record in 2011
ThyCa Urges Early Detection Through Neck Checks

In 2011, Thyroid cancer is expected to set a new record of 48,020 people newly diagnosed (with 1,740 deaths) in the United States, reports the nonprofit ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association (, based on information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Cancer Society. In 2010, the totals were 44,670 people newly diagnosed and there were 1,690 deaths.

ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association urges everyone to learn about thyroid cancer and ask for a neck check at doctor’s appointments. Thyroid cancer affects people in all age groups from children through seniors. It is the fastest increasing cancer in both men and women.

“Thyroid cancer is usually treatable when found early, so early detection is a key, and lifelong follow-up is just as important,” said ThyCa Executive Gary Bloom, a thyroid cancer survivor. “Many thyroid cancer survivors first become aware that they may have cancer when they notice a nodule on their lower neck. Others notice changes in their voice or breathing or swallowing. While most thyroid nodules are benign, we want everyone with thyroid cancer to benefit from early detection and treatment.”

“Medical professionals are also essential to the detection of thyroid cancer,” continued Bloom. “A neck check can be as simple as touching the neck or watching the patient swallow. This can be done very quickly, but those few seconds could make all the difference when it comes to thyroid cancer. Most thyroid cancer is treatable, but some thyroid cancers are aggressive and difficult to treat.”

Free downloadable flyers, tools, and tips are available at, and free materials are available from ThyCa by mail. ThyCa invites you to partner with ThyCa in Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, a worldwide observance that ThyCa sponsors each September, and to become involved in year-round awareness campaigns.

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Six Free Webinars/Calls Feature Expert Speakers
Learn from Your Home or Your Office

ThyCa is excited to invite you to take part in these wonderful free opportunities to learn from numerous thyroid cancer experts, from your own home or office.

Register and get more information on the ThyCa Webinar page

Medullary Thyroid Cancer – Persistent Disease
Speaker: Douglas W. Ball, M.D., Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD; ThyCa Medical Advisor.
Registration/viewing link

Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer
Speakers: Julie Ann Sosa, M.D., M.A., Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, ThyCa Medical Advisor,and R. Michael Tuttle, M.D., Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; ThyCa Medical Advisor.
Registration/viewing link

Papillary/Follicular Thyroid Cancer– A Primer
Speaker: Bryan McIver, M.B., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; ThyCa Medical Advisor.
Registration/viewing link

Medullary Thyroid Cancer– A Primer
Speaker: Robert Gagel, M.D., M.S. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, ThyCa Medical Advisor.
Registration/viewing link

Tuesday, August 9, 2011:

Papillary/Follicular Thyroid Cancer – Persistent Disease. 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
Speaker: Steven I. Sherman, M.D., University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; ThyCa Medical Advisor.
The live webinar includes a Question and Answer period.Registration/viewing link

Friday, September 9, 2011:

Pediatric Thyroid Cancer. 2 – 3 p.m. Eastern Time.
Speakers: Gary L. Francis, M.D., Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA; ThyCa Medical Advisor, and Steven G. Waguespack, M.D., University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; ThyCa Medical Advisor.
The live webinar includes a Question and Answer period. Registration/viewing link

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Neck Checks—Letters Respond to Time Magazine Article

An article about cancer screening in Time Magazine’s June 13, 2011 issue said that there should “probably not” be regular screening for thyroid nodules such as by getting neck checks at routine medical appointments. It said that, “Guidelines are ‘under review’ but aren’t a top priority because the mortality rate is so low” and that “a 1996 guideline advised against screening.”

ThyCa immediately sent letters to Time. We will post more letters on Please add your voice. Send your letters on this topic to

Two letters—

I totally disagree with Time’s Magazine’s June 13, 2011 issue where they say … a regular annual medical should “probably not” include screening for thyroid nodules.

Had my primary physician not automatically done a neck check in my annual medical in 1994, she would never have found a very small (less than one cm) nodule, which turned out to be thyroid cancer which had already metastasized to my neck and upper chest. The cancer was so persistent that even with surgery and radioiodine treatment, it recurred in 1999 and again in 2003.

I am very thankful for that original neck check. I would have been in much more trouble had that cancer not been found as early as it had.

Lynda Murtha
Toronto, Canada

It’s surprising that Time’s article discourages thyroid neck checks, when they’re the quickest and least expensive first step in finding cancers curable by surgery alone. They also find nodules that may be aggressive thyroid cancers types.

Omitting neck checks in an effort to avoid potential post-surgical complications (rare with experienced thyroid surgeons) will let these cancers grow into significant disease with complex, costly treatments; prolonged disease state, and high death rates. If thyroid cancers were insignificant, the death rate would be lower. Overall death rates won’t decline until cures are discovered for the many whose treatments aren’t working.

Sincerely yours,

Gary Bloom
ThyCa Executive Director
Olney, MD

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Free Thyroid Cancer Seminar in Fresno, California, on September 10, 2011

Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 10, 2011, and plan to attend the Free Thyroid Cancer Seminar being sponsored by the ThyCa Fresno Support Group. The seminar takes place from 10 a.m. to Noon.

Featured speakers are Saima Sajid-Crockett, M.D., Endocrinologist, Sierra Endocrine Associates, and Daniel E. Stobbe, M.D., FACNP, Nuclear Medicine Physician, Valley Metabolic Imaging.

ThyCa volunteers Anjali Kapoor-Davis and Miriam Delfin are the facilitators of ThyCa Fresno and the seminar organizers. Click here for the seminar location and other details.

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Free Thyroid Cancer Patient Education Program in Colorado, September 17, 2011

You’re invited to the free Thyroid Cancer Education Program in Denver (Aurora), Colorado, on Saturday, September 17, 2011, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. The program is sponsored by the University of Colorado School of Medicine, in cooperation with ThyCa, and the ATA. Speakers include Bryan Haugen, M.D., Chris Raeburn, M.D. , Bev McLaughlin(,E. Chester Ridgway, M.D. , Joshua Klopper, M.D., and Madeleine Kane, M.D., Ph.D.. The program will take place at the Anschutz Medical Campus, Hensel Phelps Auditorium Research Center I-North, 12800 E 19th Avenue, Aurora, Colorado. Please register by September 10. and click on Patient Track, or else call to register at 303-724-1026

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Free South Florida Educational Program on September 22, 2011

On Thursday evening, September 22, 2011, starting at 6:30 p.m., you’re invited to a Question and Answer Program with R. Mack Harrell, M.D., Endocrinologist and Thyroidologist, and David Bimston, M.D., Oncology and Thyroid Surgeon, at the Salute to Thyroid Cancer Survivors and Caregivers in honor of Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month. This free event will take place at Memorial Hospital South, 3600 Washington Street, Hollywood, Florida. A variety of appetizers, beverages, and desserts will be served. If you have questions, please contact Christine Ciletti, ThyCa South Florida Support Group Co-Facilitator, at

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28-Page Preview of New Free Booklet “Thyroid Cancer Basics”

The 28-page Preview of “Thyroid Cancer Basics” is now available from ThyCa. This booklet covers key information that patients and caregivers need to know about diagnosis, treatment, follow-up, and more.

The information has been reviewed by ThyCa Medical Advisors, as will the additional sections. The booklet is downloadable from our website, as well as available by mail (single copy or bulk requests welcome) anywhere in the world, free of charge. Thank you to the large team of volunteers and our expert medical reviewers for your help with this new resource for everyone affected by thyroid cancer.

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AstraZeneca Announces Trade Name CAPRELSA® for Vandetanib

AstraZeneca has announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the trade name CAPRELSA for the recently approved orphan drug vandetanib, a treatment for medullary thyroid cancer that cannot be removed by surgery or that has spread to other parts of the body.

CAPRELSA is a kinase inhibitor indicated for the treatment of symptomatic or progressive medullary thyroid cancer in patients with unresectable (non-operable) locally advanced or metastatic disease. The FDA approved vandetanib on April 6, 2011 and AstraZeneca made the product available to U.S. patients before it received a trade name. The product is now available under the trade name CAPRELSA. The CAPRELSA web site with further information for physicians and patients is linked in ThyCa’s Links page, in the Medullary Thyroid Cancer section under Treatment and Studies.

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Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month Is Coming in September, Worldwide

  • Get free materials from ThyCa
  • Watch for new Thyroid Cancer Awareness items on our website
  • Learn how you and your organization can partner with ThyCa in this important observance
  • Visit the Raise Awareness page

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More Conference Speakers Confirmed!

We are proud to announce that we’ve confirmed more conference speakers. Our web site will soon have an update.

Mark your calendars for October 14 – 16, 2011, and plan to come to Los Angeles, California, and interact with and learn from distinguished experts from numerous leading centers. Meet and share your experiences with hundreds of other people affected by a thyroid cancer diagnosis.

Become part of a community, help yourself, and help the next person. Click here for the speaker list and other conference details and updates.

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Conference Registration and Hotel Room Reservations Are Open

You now can register online or by mail for the 14th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference in Los Angeles, California, on October 14 – 16, 2011. Click here for online forms and additional conference details.

Click here for Hotel Room Reservations at the special Conference discount rate.

Looking forward to seeing you in Los Angeles in October.

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Come to the Dinner/Auction for Research

The annual Dinner/Auction Fundraiser for Thyroid Cancer will take place in Los Angeles on Saturday evening, October 15 at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel. The funds raised during this wonderful evening help make possible ThyCa’s research grants, now in our 9th consecutive year.

You’re invited to attend. Would you like to donate an auction item? Details and the donation form are now on the web site, in the Conference and Rally for Research pages on our website.

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Dr. Sosa Named to ThyCa Medical Advisory Council

We are pleased to announce that Julie Ann Sosa, M.D., M.A., of Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, has been named to ThyCa’s Medical Advisory Council, which now has 34 members.

Dr. Sosa is an Endocrine and Oncologic Surgeon and Associate Professor of Surgery (Oncology) and of Medicine (Medical Oncology), as well as Director of the Yale Endocrine Surgery Clinical and Health Services Research Group.

She is involved in clinical trials of new drug treatments for all the major types of thyroid cancer. She is principal investigator or co-principal investigator of studies of new drug treatments for differentiated thyroid cancer (papillary/follicular), medullary thyroid cancer, and anaplastic thyroid cancer.

Dr. Sosa is a speaker in ThyCa’s Free Webinar on Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer on Friday, July 29, 2011. She will also be a speaker at the 14th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference in Los Angeles, California, on October 14 –16, 2011.

Following undergraduate education at Princeton University, she received a master’s degree in Human Sciences at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and her medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. She received postgraduate training at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, as well as John Radcliffe and Churchill Hospitals, Oxford, England. She is a frequent invited lecturer and course leader/instructor for professional audiences and has also spoken at three recent ThyCa conferences.

The 34 members of ThyCa’s Medical Advisory Council are world-recognized experts in the field of thyroid cancer. The advisors provide valuable counsel and support ThyCa’s goals in education, treatment, and research. Learn about them on the Medical Advisors pag.

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Guestbook Is Free

Sign up for our Free Newsletter, or update your contact information (mailing address, e-mail address, etc.).

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Free Patient Information Packets

We will be happy to mail you a free packet of educational materials.

To request a free packet for yourself, please go to our Guestbook, fill out the Guestbook form, and click on Yes in the line that says “Please send me a patient information packet” near the bottom of the address form.

To request a free packet for someone else, please e-mail the person’s name and complete mailing address to

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ThyCa Silicon Valley, California, Support Group Hosts Free Seminar

On Saturday, July 23, Andrei Iagaru, M.D., Nuclear Medicine Physician, Stanford Medical Center, California, was the guest speaker at the meeting of the ThyCa Silicon Valley Support Group in Foster City, California. Dr. Iagaru spoke and answered questions about I-131 (Radioactive Iodine) in Thyroid Cancer Testing and Treatment.

Lois Fried and Gail Schuler are ThyCa Silicon Valley Support Group’s volunteer facilitators. Click here for the monthly meeting details and location.

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Find a ThyCa Support Group Near You

Find out whether there is a ThyCa Support Group near you, and how to be in touch and attend meetings. Each group has its own web page:

ThyCa has helped start face-to-face support groups across the United States and in Canada, Costa Rica, and Philippines.

Don’t see a support group near you? Find out how you can help start a new group. Just

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Follow ThyCa on Facebook and Twitter

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Low-Iodine Recipe of the Month
Contributed by Monica M.

Grilled Lemon Chicken with Basil Sauce

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons plus 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (non-iodized)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1 large clove garlic
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


Whisk 1/3 cup of oil, 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice, fennel seeds, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a heavy-duty re-sealable plastic bag. Add the chicken and seal the bag. Massage the marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day, turning the chicken occasionally.

Meanwhile, blend the basil, garlic, lemon zest, remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a blender until smooth. Gradually blend in the remaining 1/3 cup oil. Season the basil sauce, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Prepare the barbecue for medium-high heat or preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the chicken until just cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to plates. Drizzle the basil sauce over and serve.

Editor’s Note: Thank you, Monica, for contributing your tasty recipe. We will include your recipe 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:

  • Spanish and
  • 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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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 quarterly 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). Click here for our online Membership Form and our mailed Membership Form.

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Support the 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 have again awarded new research grants in 2011.

You’re invited to 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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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 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.

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Copyright (c) 2011 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

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.

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: Dana Fusco, Leah Guljord, Pat Paillard, Barbara Status, Cherry Wunderlich, and Gary Bloom.

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, call toll-free at 1-877-588-7904, fax 1-630-604-6078, write PO Box 1102, Olney, MD 20830-1102, or visit our webiste.