Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference Draws Record Numbers, Presents Latest Research Plus New Topics in Thyroid Cancer Care

The 15th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference drew record participation, bringing together more than 500 people from 39 states Canada, Mexico, and United Kingdom, for 3 days of learning from experts and sharing experience.

The annual conference is sponsored by the nonprofit ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.

People from teenagers to seniors, coping with all types of thyroid cancer (papillary, follicular, medullary, anaplastic, variants) came to Chicago, Illinois, on October 19-21, 2012, for more than 100 sessions with over 70 speakers. Speakers included more than 40 distinguished medical professionals, plus specialists in insurance, employment issues, mental health, and coping skills for well being, as well as survivors and caregivers affected by every type of thyroid cancer.

Top thyroid cancer clinicians and researchers, including numerous ATA members and ATA President Bryan Haugen, M.D., spoke and answered questions about all aspects of treatment from diagnosis through long-term monitoring, as well as clinical trials for advanced thyroid cancer and a special session on Facing Incurable Thyroid Cancer: Portraits of Courage. Two speakers were recipients of ThyCa Thyroid Cancer Research Grants.

New topics at this year’s conference included solutions to issues with eyes and tearing, as well as skin care, for people receiving both conventional treatments and new targeted therapies.

Also new this year were the ThyCa Memorial Video created by Cheri Lindle of Oklahoma, co-founder of ThyCa’s Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer E-Mail Support Group, and the ThyCa Memorial Quilt created by longtime ThyCa volunteer Leah Guljord of Florida.

Among attendees’ comments:

• “This was my first conference and I was not at all sure what to expect. The conference far surpassed any of my expectations! I had never met another “meddie” and here I met many. I immediately felt a “kindred spirit” with these wonderful people. It was nice for me to see how well others are coping with this disease, hear their stories, feel their support and know that I too can do as well. We are all in this together! The speakers were excellent and very knowledgeable. I really did get a lot of valuable information out of the talks as well as good contacts. I am hoping to see everyone next year in Philadelphia.”

• “Attended the conference and learned so much! I really appreciated the fact that the speakers were so willing to stay after their sessions to talk with people whose questions hadn’t been answered. Met many lovely people with whom I have much in common…. all in all, great experience!”

• “It was a wonderful conference!!!”

The 11th Annual Dinner/Auction Fundraiser held Saturday evening during the Conference was a tremendous success, raising $40,000 for thyroid cancer research, with inspiring talks including tributes to longtime ThyCa friend and Medical Advisor Ernest Mazzaferri, M.D., who was honored at the dinner. This wonderful support helps ThyCa continue to fund thyroid cancer research—now totaling more than $900,000. ThyCa is pleased to announce that we will award three new research grants in 2013.

ThyCa is also pleased to announce that the 16th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference will take place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on September 27-29, 2013, in conjunction with September’s annual Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, the worldwide observance sponsored by ThyCa with support from partnering organizations and individuals.

For more information about the Conference and hundreds of other ThyCa events, free webinars with experts, the Rally for Research, Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, and free materials for patients and professionals, visit our website.