ThyCa NEWS NOTES – October 2012

In This Issue:

RAI Survey Invites Your Input

The Radioactive Iodine Treatment-Related Survey, developed by Drs. Myssiorek and Scharf, is still open. If you received RAI as part of your thyroid cancer care, you’re invited to take part, at Thank you! Together, we’re helping to improve knowledge and care for people with thyroid cancer.

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Free Webinars with Experts: Watch/Listen Anytime

Learn about thyroid cancer in 9 free 1-hour Webinars with experts. You can watch/listen at any time, as many times as you wish, wherever you live in the world.

Visit ThyCa’s free webinar library.

Save the date! January 24, 2013: Free Webinar on Papillary and Follicular Thyroid Cancer Surgery and Re-Surgery, with Gregory Randolph, M.D, ThyCa Medical Advisor.

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My Fatherby Louise

My father is 76 years old. He was diagnosed with anaplastic thyroid cancer in November 2008. By the time the cancer was discovered it was already terminal and he was told he wouldn’t make it to Christmas. It was the first time the doctors at the hospital had seen this type of cancer first hand, and even they admitted they were out of their comfort zone on this one, but they didn’t let that stop them.

My father went for surgery in December 2008, and we were told that one of two things would happen. When they opened him up they would find that either they couldn’t do anything, in which case he would be back in the ward in an hour, or he’d be down in surgery for several hours while they took out whatever cancer they could.

Fortunately, they were able to remove his thyroid with the tumor, but they had to also take some of his neck muscle and 11 glands from his neck. In the process his vocal cords were damaged so his voice has been affected. Since then he has had to have other surgeries to remove cancerous tissue and has undergone several rounds of follow-up treatment.

We have known from the start that he isn’t going to be cured, that all of this is just to stall the inevitable, but in the time the doctors have been able to give him he has been able to see both my sister and my brother find people they love and get married. He has also been able to meet his new grandson and hopefully he’ll get to meet another new grandchild in January.

From the start he has accepted what the doctors have told us but he has said from the start, “Something was going to get me one day, but I’m not dead yet. So until I am, I’m going to continue to live.”

I honestly think that it has been this frame of mind that has helped him get through everything. Even now he hasn’t let it get him down. I know it’s a pretty cliche thing to say, but he has been inspirational. Even the doctors treating him have commented on how he has kept a positive attitude.

I wanted to share my father’s story with others to show you that even if you don’t receive good news, don’t give up. Live your life for as long as you are able! You may also defy the odds like my father has!

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Spotlight Still Shines on Thyroid Cancer Awareness

Thank you to everyone who helped Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month in September set new records for participation! Survivors, caregivers, and friends everywhere urged everyone to “Find It Early.”

Our August newsletter and our Facebook page showcase some of the many creative activities.

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, plus the year-round awareness campaigns, shines the spotlight on:

  • 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.

You’re invited to get involved every day! Help the next person “Find It Early,” get free education and support, and connect with others around the world. We all need to work together to heighten Thyroid Cancer Awareness every day!

Get the facts about thyroid cancer, plus free handouts, tips on how to help, and the calendar of events, on our website.

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The 2012 Butterfly Bash: Fun and Fundraising in Issaquah, Washington

The 2012 Butterfly Bash for Thyroid Cancer Survivors, created by Tamra Kaufman & Stacie Lacina, took place on October 13th in Issaquah, Washington.

On her Butterfly Bash page, Tamra writes,

“Thyroid cancer has been a very personal disease for me because every day since January 2004, this disease has affected my life. Since then, I have been on a journey to raise awareness and funding for much needed research into this disease not only for myself, but for all other thyroid cancer patients who need and deserve HOPE for a future without cancer!”

To read more, and find out how to support this wonderful fundraiser, click here.

Thank you, Tamra and Stacie!

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70 Speakers, Over 100 Sessions at the 15th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference, October 19 – 21, 2012, Chicago, Illinois

The Conference is where experts, survivors, and caregivers come together each year to:

  • Share the latest advances in thyroid cancer care and research
  • Learn skills and information for coping with the many challenges of thyroid cancer
  • Meet people with every type of thyroid cancer and every situation
  • Become part of a community of people all coping with thyroid cancer

More than 45 distinguished medical professionals confirmed! Speakers include

  • 19 Endocrinologists
  • 13 Surgeons
  • Nuclear Medicine Physician
  • 4 Oncologists
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Dermatologist
  • Dentist
  • Molecular Geneticist
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Social Worker
  • Research Scholar
  • Cancer Rights Attorney
  • Specialists in coping skills and practical issues

Special Events Friday Evening of Conference Weekend

  • Snacks and Social Time for everyone, early Friday evening
  • Young Adults Get-Together Friday from 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Informal Dinners: Medullary Dinner, plus more get-togethers with new friends and old friends.

Visit our website for the Program Schedule, Speaker Biographies, and more details.

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Dinner/Auction Research Fundraiser Funds Thyroid Cancer Research

On Saturday, October 20, 2012, a special event at the Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Itasca, Illinois a wonderful evening of connections, camaraderie, and fundraising for Thyroid Cancer Research.

This year we honor our dear friend and long-time contributor, and ThyCa Medical Advisor, Dr. Ernie Mazzaferri.

We all share the dream of research for cures for all thyroid cancer. The net proceeds go to the ThyCa Research Funds. Visit our Rally for Research page to find out how to support research.

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Next Year — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania!

The 16th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference

September 27 – 29, 2013

Mark your calendar! Spread the word!

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Free Seminar with Physicians in Fresno, California

Thank you to the physicians who led the Free Seminar on October 13, 2012, hosted by the ThyCa Fresno Thyroid Cancer Support Group and its volunteer facilitators, Anjali Kapoor-Davis and Miriam Delfin. Visit the ThyCa Fresno web page ( for directions to the group’s monthly meeting.

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  • To the Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation: Graves’ Disease is another thyroid disorder, and this year’s Graves’ Disease Patient and Family Conference will take place October 26 – 28, 2012, in San Diego, California. It’s sponsored by our friends at the Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation. Many physicians will speak. Details are at
  • To Kate Farnell: Congratulations to Kate Farnell of United Kingdom, leader of Butterfly Thyroid Cancer Trust of UK, for winning a UK Inspiration Award because of her service.

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Stay Connected and Informed

Patients, caregivers, and health care professionals in more than 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. And, with your help, we’ll be there for every person affected by thyroid cancer.

By signing up on 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. Seven important thyroid cancer topics, plus 2 new webinars in September. All 9 webinars are available free at

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

For more events, visit the Calendar of Events on our website.

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Have You Visited the Web Site Lately?

We’re excited to report that our web site receives more than 400,000 visits per month —more than 14,000 each day. In September, the visits reached a new record high: more than 600,000!

Almost every day our volunteer webmasters make new additions or updates.

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

The web site has information in English, Chinese, French, Japanese, and Spanish. Recent additions include new handouts (Three Things To Tell Your Friends about Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Cancer is not a “good” cancer, and the Top Ten Things To Know About Thyroid Cancer); new webinars, new events, and more.

Free downloadable publications include the Free Low-Iodine Cookbook in English, Spanish, and French, plus the Free 50-page handbook Thyroid Cancer Basics in English and Chinese, and dozens more downloadable publications.

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

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Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Low-Iodine Recipe of the MonthContributed by Daria Jerauld of Iowa

Lemon Pasta with Gremolata (substitute for grated cheese)


Zest of 3 lemons, minced (wash the lemon well first; try to use organic ones)
1 cup fresh parsley, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon noniodized salt

Mix the ingredients well. Refrigerate until use.

Lemon Pasta with Gremolata

1/2 pound pasta — shape of your choice — cooked in salted and lemon-infused water (use Kosher salt)
1/4 Cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon minced rosemary
black pepper to taste
1 lemon — the juice

2 Tablespoons Gremolata

Bring your pasta water to a boil. Add a teaspoon of salt. Juice the lemon and reserve the juice. Remove any pits and toss the lemons into the water. I use the lemons that I have left over from making the Gremolata when I make this dish.

When the water is boiling, add your pasta and cook until done. Drain and return to the pot (toss out the lemons). Add the olive oil, rosemary, pepper and the lemon juice. Toss until coated. Serve up a healthy portion (half of it) and top the serving with 1 Tablespoon of Gremolata. Makes enough for 2 people as a main dish or 4 people as a side dish. Goes great with some lemon chicken and a steamed vegetable.

Thank you, Daria, for contributing this recipe and many more. 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, click here.

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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 takes only 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: Leah Guljord, Daria Jerauld, Louise, Pat Paillard, Barb Statas, 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 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.