ThyCa NEWS NOTES – September 2009

In This Issue

New FNA Guide for Physicians Written by Yolanda Oertel, M.D., ThyCa Medical Advisor

A new manual by Cytopathologist Yolanda Oertel, M.D., gives step-by-step instructions to physicians for performing a key test to determine whether a thyroid nodule is benign or cancerous.

“Fine Needle Aspiration of the Thyroid: A Procedural Guide for the Physician” is a 19-page guide designed for physicians interested in learning the technique for the Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA). The manual details the equipment and materials needed, physician-patient communications, and step-by-step instructions for performing a FNA.

The manual’s 15 sections include the Introduction, Who Should Perform the FNA, The Aspiration Team, Where To Aspirate, Aspiration Room, Equipment and Materials Required, Etiquette in the Aspiration Room, Physical Examination, Preparing Patient for Procedure, Position of Pathologist (Or Aspirator), How To Perform Aspiration, Specific Instructions, Technical Hints for FNA, Ultrasound-Guided FNA by Non-Radiologists, and Summary.

In addition, it has a reference list, and an appendix lististing sources of supplies noted in the manual.

Dr. Oertel is Director of the Fine Needle Aspiration Service at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. She has been performing FNAs for more than 30 years. She has trained numerous other cytopathologists. She also speaks at medical meetings and patient education conferences and seminars. She is a medical advisor of ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. ThyCa’s Publications Committee assisted in the production of the new FNA manual.

Dr. Oertel also authored the widely used patient education booklet “Fine Needle Aspiration of the Booklet: The Patient’s Guide.” She provides this booklet to all her patients, as do numerous other physicians. An excerpt is on ThyCa’s web site These booklets are available free, in bulk, to physicians, from ThyCa.

ThyCa extends our thanks to Dr. Oertel for this useful new reference manual for physicians, for her dedication to physician education and training, and for her commitment to patient well-being.

ThyCa’s web site will soon post an announcement about how physicians can obtain the booklet.

top of page

Newest Local Support Group Forms in New Mexico

Welcome to our newest local support group, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Melissa Pickett is the volunteer facilitator. The group’s first meeting takes place in February 2010. However, the group already has its ownweb page with Melissa’s contact information, for phone and e-mail support.

Every month, more than 60 thyroid cancer support groups hold meetings. Go to for a complete list of groups, contact information, and meeting schedules. This page also has information about starting a group in your area. If you don’t have internet access, call (toll-free): 1-877-588-7904.

top of page

One-To-One Support Serves Survivors and Caregivers Around the World

Through our one-to-one support services, our volunteers are serving thyroid cancer survivors and caregivers around the world. Three ways to receive support one-to-one:

  • ThyCa Person-To-Person Network, where you’ll be matched with a ThyCa volunteer with the same type of thyroid cancer
  • ThyCa E-mail Response Team
  • Toll-Free Number, with volunteers handling calls in English and Spanish: 1-877-588-7904

top of page

Conference Program on Web Site, Walk-In Attendees Welcome

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. Some highlights:

  • Program Schedule Preview now on the website
  • 78 Speakers, including 33 medical specialists, 14 other specialists, and 31 roundtable facilitators including survivors and caregivers affected by every type of thyroid cancer.
  • More than 110 session choices.
  • Updates on the latest for every type of thyroid cancer.
  • Details and advance registration on
  • \Walk-in attendees are welcome.

Tap into the “Power of Peers” this October16, 17, and 18 in Boston, Massachusetts as ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association presents the 12th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference of compelling educational sessions with a lineup of renowned thyroid cancer experts.

The Conference offers a unique perspective for individuals living with thyroid cancer as well as for family members or health care professionals looking for ways to best help their loved-ones and their patients by partnering with them on their thyroid cancer journey.


  • INSPIRATION. Through the unique peer perspectives of fellow survivors and caregivers coping with all types of thyroid cancer.
  • KNOWLEDGE. Through EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS led by more than 25 internationally renowned experts.
  • SKILLS. Through numerous sessions that offer tools and strategies to survivors, volunteers, advocates, and family members.
  • UNDERSTANDING and DISCOVERY. Through special sessions led by specialists in coping and complementary approaches.
  • CONNECTION. Through PEER ROUNDTABLE SESSIONS where peers share ideas and personal strategies based on their experience in a variety of wellness- and coping-focused topics.
  • ENCOURAGEMENT. Through peer roundtable SUPPORT GROUPS held during the conference to provide a forum for mutual acceptance and self-discovery.
  • COMMUNITY. Through a conference weekend where you can connect with old and new friends to network and share stories, wellness tips and hope.

Go to for details, registration, transportation directions, and information about continuing education credits for nurses. Scholarships for the registration are available on request. Walk-in attendees are welcome.

top of page

Dinner/Auction Will Support Thyroid Cancer Research

On Saturday, October 17, 2009, at the Sheraton Ferncroft Hotel in Danvers, Massachusetts, we will hold the 8th Annual Saturday Evening Dinner/Auction to raise much-needed funds for thyroid cancer research.

This wonderful and inspiring event raises funds for Thyroid Cancer Research. It is also a lot of fun. Help ThyCa raise funds so we all can continue funding thyroid cancer research—now 7 straight years, and totaling more than $550,000. You can purchase tickets on line or by mail. The cost is $50 per ticket.
The web site has the reservation form.

top of page

ThyCa Long Island Support Group Organizes Successful Fundraiser

Our congratulation and thanks to the ThyCa Long Island, New York, Support Group for organizing a successful fundraiser to support ThyCa. The fundraiser was called the Lord & Taylor Benefit Bash, organized in cooperation with the local store on Long Island. The Benefit Bash is a private day of shopping in support of not-for-profit organizations. The Support Group participants sold tickets at $5 each, and the ThyCa received all proceeds from the ticket sales. For a ticket, a shopper received a discount on everything they bought in the store on the day of the bash. Organizations selling large numbers of tickets also received some of the proceeds from tickets sold at the door on the day of the bash. Thanks to the hard work of the ThyCa Long Island Support Group they sold enough tickets to earn a portion of the proceeds from walk-in traffic.

Congratulations, and thank you, to all the volunteers of ThyCa Long Island!

top of page

New Surveys for Thyroid Cancer Survivors

Dear Thyroid Cancer Survivor:

ThyCa; Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc., has been invited to help teams led by 3 of our Medical Advisors collect information on different aspects of thyroid cancer management.

Please complete the following ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.’s survey regarding your radioiodine (I-131) treatments:

Your responses will be very important to help ThyCa determine data such as the frequency of radioiodine outpatient and inpatient treatments, the adequacy of the radiation safety instructions that you received, and areas involving I-131 treatments that may be improved.

Please complete the following survey regarding whether or not you had any vocal disorders following thyroid cancer surgery:

Please complete the following survey regarding your use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine:

Please click on the links above. If your computer does not immediately go to the survey website, then copy and paste the link into your browser, and then go to the survey website. The survey will be self-explanatory.

These survey links also will be posted on ThyCa’s web site on the right side of the home page.

We encourage you to participate in all of the surveys. This is a chance for all of us to impact our care going forward.

top of page

ThyCa Participates at Annual Meeting of American Thyroid Association

We are pleased to report that ThyCa representatives Gary Bloom and Leah Guljord exhibited and distributed ThyCa’s free materials and information at the Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association in Palm Beach, Florida, in September. This meeting brought thyroid cancer experts together to share the latest information about thyroid cancer treatment and research. ThyCa also participated in the Thyroid Disease Public Forum sponsored by the ATA’s Alliance for Patient Education. We greatly appreciate ATA’s efforts in professional education and its support of patient well-being.

top of page

Thank You for Raising Awareness

Your outreach efforts help the public understand the need for early detection, treatment, and lifelong monitoring. September was Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month. Year-round, we invite you to help raise awareness. E-mail or call 1-877-588-7904 to request free materials.

top of page

Low-Iodine Recipe of the MonthContributed by Whitney Redding of Virginia

Low Iodine Granola

4 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup slivered (or sliced) raw almonds
3/4 cup pecans (or pecan pieces)
1 cup dried coconut (read label carefully to find a brand without salt, such as at Whole Foods groceries)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
6 Tablespoon real maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine oats, nuts, coconut, and oil in large bowl. When oil is well distributed, add maple syrup and combine again until well coated. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with a little vegetable oil. Bake granola 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure that it turns a nice, even golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer hot granola back to the large bowl to cool. Stir from time to time, to hasten the cooling process and to keep granola from sticking together. Transfer to an airtight container only after it has completely cooled; store granola at room temperature.

SERVING OPTIONS: This cereal is GREAT and very filling when drizzled with real maple syrup over sliced bananas or peaches. Also good mixed with unsweetened applesauce. For a dessert, you could serve it on top of banana “ice cream”: To make this low-iodine “ice cream,” freeze individual banana slices on a cookie sheet, then grind the frozen slices in a mixer with a touch of liquid if necessary.

VARIATIONS: If you don’t like pecans, use walnuts or hazelnuts. If you don’t like maple syrup, use honey. If you use honey, you might also want to add dried fruits such as cranberries or raisins, but only after the granola has cooled.

Whitney writes, “I love breakfast… Here’s one I developed and am happy to share.”

Thank you, Whitney! We’ll include your recipe in the next edition of the FREE Downloadable Low-Iodine Cookbook.

Download the 6th edition of the Low-Iodine Cookbook for free. It has more than 250 favorite recipes from more than 100 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 the favorites of some of our ThyCa volunteers, who are sharing them with everyone. Our goal is 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

top of page

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 1-year member ($25), 2-year member ($45), or lifetime member ($225).

top of page

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.

top of page

Coming Events

  • Thyroid Cancer Support Group Meetings in Your Community: For groups and details, visit: our Local Support Groups page.
  • 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.
  • 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 the website.

top of page

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).

top of page

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

top of page

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.

top of page

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, Whitney Redding, 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 News Notes are also published here.

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.