ThyCa NEWS NOTES – September 2007


September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month
ThyCa Conference Changed a Life — It Could Change Yours, Too
Latest 2007 Conference News
ThyCa Executive Director Selected
New: The 6th Edition of the Free Downloadable Low-Iodine Cookbook
Newest Spanish Translation: Free Downloadable Low-Iodine Cookbook
Medullary Thyroid Cancer Web Site Preview
Clinical Trial Open at NCI for Children with Medullary Thyroid Cancer
Listen to the New Radio PSAs
Come to the 2007 Dinner/Auction Research Fundraiser
Have You Visited the Web Site Lately?
Are You a ThyCa Member?
Thank You From ThyCa
Every Day…
About ThyCa News Notes

September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month
Help raise awareness!

ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. sponsors Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month. September highlights the year-round activities of ThyCa volunteers to:

  • Increase thyroid cancer education.
  • Raise awareness of the importance of early detection, treatment, and lifelong monitoring.
  • Inform the public about ThyCa’s free information, resources, and support.
  • Raise awareness of the need for more thyroid cancer research.

ThyCa encourages everyone to ask for a neck check the next time they visit their doctor. Signs to discuss with the physician include a lump or fullness in the neck, lymph node swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or voice changes. A neck check only takes a minute.

Thyroid Cancer Awareness

  • Download free flyers
  • Listen to the radio public service announcement from John Breen of West Virginia
  • Read about what volunteers are doing to raise awareness.

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ThyCa Conference Changed a Life — It Could Change Yours, Too

Cindy Hellinger’s surgery and thyroid cancer treatment was more difficult than she ever imagined. It left her feeling ill, confused, and unsure of herself. But attending the ThyCa conference changed all that. Now she tells any thyroid cancer patient or caregiver who will listen about ThyCa and, especially, the ThyCa Conference.
“Attending the International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference changed my life,” Cindy begins.

“After a thyroidectomy with modified neck dissection and then radioactive iodine treatment for papillary thyroid cancer, my Thyroglobulin test indicated that I had residual thyroid cancer. When various diagnostic testing revealed no metastases, the specialists were left scratching their heads. They recommended surgery and another RAI treatment with ‘hopes’ of helping.”

Disheartened, confused, and a bit skeptical, she attended the conference. “I was blown away by all the information that related directly to my case. At one point, I began to cry, because, for the first time since my diagnosis, I felt courageous and confident about what I needed to do.”

She felt the medical professionals at the conference were true experts and was inspired by their dedication and kindness. “As a result of attending the conference, I received specific information I could apply to my case. I believe it may have saved my life!”

In addition to the information, which was pivotal to advocating for her own care, she enjoyed meeting fellow thycans and hearing their stories. “I believe that as a result of the conference, the learning and meeting new friends have made me appreciate that, even though I do not like having cancer, I would never have met these wonderfully committed and inspirational individuals otherwise! “

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Latest 2007 Conference News

Come to the

10th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference
October 19-21, 2007
Sofitel San Francisco Bay Hotel
Redwood City, California

We’re honored that more 25 distinguished physicians plus more than 30 other specialists, survivors of every type of thyroid cancer, and caregivers, are confirmed as speakers. The physicians come from the:

  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Mayo Clinic
  • New York University Cancer Institute
  • Ohio State University Medical School
  • Stanford Medical Center
  • University of California at Los Angeles
  • University of California at San Francisco
  • University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
  • University of Florida at Gainesville
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • and other leading institutions.

Our speakers also include a specialist in Thyroglobulin measurement; a pharmacist; mental health professionals; attorneys; other specialists; long-term survivors of papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic thyroid cancer; and caregivers. There will be more than 100 sessions on the latest advances in thyroid cancer care and research, clinical trials, insurance and employment issues, and coping skills for well-being.

The hotel has free parking. It also provides free shuttle service from San Francisco International Airport. In addition, the hotel’s special conference room rate is guaranteed for reservations made through October 1, 2007, by 5 p.m., and after that on a space-available basis. Our web site has more details about registration for the conference and the hotel, as well as driving directions.

We’re excited to report that by mid-August, people have registered from 20 states, Canada, and Brazil. You may register online or by mail in advance, or on site at the conference. The early-bird deadline is September 19. Scholarships to cover the registration fee are available on request.

We hope to see you at the conference!

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ThyCa Executive Director Selected

ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association is pleased to announce the selection of Gary Bloom of Olney, Maryland, as Executive Director, effective September 10, 2007. ThyCa’s Board of Directors created this new position to support ThyCa’s tremendous growth in constituents and support services, outreach, and research advocacy over the past 12 years. Gary was selected by ThyCa’s Search Committee, led by Sara Brenner, Board Member and Director of Local ThyCa Support Groups, through an open nationwide search process and thorough review of candidates.

In collaboration with the Board of Directors, Gary will be responsible for day-to-day management to further ThyCa’s vision and strategic plan to further grow support services, education, and outreach, especially for underserved populations, as well as to foster research advocacy and alliances.

A thyroid cancer survivor since 1995, Gary Bloom served as Assistant Chair of the steering committee that developed ThyCa. He has served as Chair of ThyCa’s all-volunteer Board of Directors since 1999. In April 1999, he founded and became facilitator of ThyCa’s Washington, D.C. Thyroid Cancer Support Group, which meets monthly.

In addition to leading ThyCa’s management services, technology development, and conference planning, he has recruited and trained dozens of volunteers for ThyCa’s support services, outreach, and technology and administrative support. He is also strongly involved in research advocacy and in developing alliances with medical professional associations and patient support organizations.

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New—The 6th Edition of the Free Downloadable Low-Iodine Cookbook

We’re excited to tell you that the expanded 6th edition is now on our web site!

The latest edition has more than 250 delicious family-favorite recipes, plus many tips. More than 100 generous thyroid cancer survivors and caregivers contributed these tasty recipes, together with dozens of tips and suggestions for making the short-term low-iodine diet easier for everyone. Our special thanks to all of you.

The 6th edition includes all the recipes from the 5th edition, plus lots of great new recipes.

You’re welcome to print it out and share it with others.

Visit our web site for the new edition!

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Newest Spanish Translation—Free Downloadable Low-Iodine Cookbook

Libro de cocina—Dieta con bajo contenido en yodo

We’re proud to announce our newest free publication in Spanish—The Low-Iodine Cookbook. More than 185 of the delicious recipes from ThyCa’s free Low-Iodine Cookbook are now available in Spanish on our web site. Visit the web site today, to download this wonderful resource.

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Medullary Thyroid Cancer Web Site Preview

Our web site will soon add more sections on Medullary Thyroid Cancer. The Medullary Thyroid Cancer site is being developed with the leadership of Mary Seemuller and Jan Halzel, Pharm.D., of our Medullary Thyroid Cancer E-Mail Support Group. Many volunteers are participating. Physicians with expertise in medullary thyroid cancer will review and give input on all the medical pages.

This special site on a rare type of thyroid cancer will join the Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer Site, launched in 2005, and the Pediatric Thyroid Cancer Site, launched in 2006. Developed with input from numerous physician specialists, these sites are valuable resources for families and professionals seeking the latest information and support resources on rare types of thyroid cancer.

For information about medullary thyroid cancer, visit the Newly Diagnosed section of our web site.

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Clinical Trial Open at NCI for Children with Medullary Thyroid Cancer

A new clinical trial of Zactima (zd6474) as a treatment for children with hereditary Medullary Thyroid Cancer (MTC) is enrolling patients starting in summer 2007.

The clinical trial is being conducted as a collaborative effort between Samuel A. Wells, M.D. of Duke University Medical Center and the Pediatric Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, which is just outside Washington, DC.

This trial is intended for children with advanced local or metastatic MTC who have been advised by their doctor that they need further treatment.

Enrollment will be open to children who live in the U.S. or Canada. All patients will be admitted to the NCI Clinical Center.

For more information and contact details about the study, visit this page.

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Listen to the New Radio PSAs

Three new radio public service announcements are now on the web site. Our thanks to John Breen of WDTV NewsChannel 5, Clarksburg, West Virginia, for developing these announcements. You’ll find them in theAwareness and Conference sections of the web site.

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Come to the 2007 Dinner/Auction Research Fundraiser

A wonderful evening of camaraderie, inspiration, and hope

Saturday Evening, October 20th, 2007
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
At the Sofitel San Francisco Bay Hotel
The conference hotel

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Have You Visited the Web Site Lately?

Our web site has more than 600 pages. More than 50 distinguished physicians plus numerous other specialists give ongoing input and review. We greatly appreciate the wonderful support of these medical specialists.

The web site expands nearly every week. Visit us often for the latest information updates and news about special events.

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Are You a ThyCa Member?

We invite you to join ThyCa. Your membership will support ThyCa’s efforts to reach other survivors and their families around the world.

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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 support services and resources.

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Every Day…

Every day, thousands of people with thyroid cancer, and their families, are offered support, education, and hope by ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association. Your generous support is what makes this possible. 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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Copyright (c) 2007 ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.

We encourage you to send these News Notes to your family and friends. For permission to reprint in another electronic or print publication, please contact us.

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 public awareness for early detection, lifetime health monitoring, and thyroid cancer research fundraising and research grants.

E-mail, call 1-877-588-7904, fax to 1-630-604-6078, write to PO Box 1545, New York, NY 10159-1545, or visit