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Support and communication
for thyroid cancer survivors and families. A free publication of ThyCa:
Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc.
Letter from the Editor
New Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer Site Launched by ThyCa
ThyCa Expands Grant Awards: Announces Two 2-Year Grants
ThyCa News Nuggets
Dr. Leonard Wartofsky Speaks at ThyCa Support Group Meeting
What’s New on the Web Site
Letter to ThyCa
ThyCa’s th International Conference is Just Around the Corner
More about This Newsletter and ThyCa
An Open Invitation from ThyCa
Help Us Help Each Other
I recently got an e-mail from a friend who, after nearly five years, had a recurrence of thyroid cancer. The metastasis was found in his brain and he’s currently undergoing treatment.
It’s crushing to hear of cases such as my friend’s, not only because I feel terrible about his situation, but because on a more selfish (and human) level, it’s what all survivors fear. Learning of others’ recurrence is a stark reminder that the same can happen to any of us at any time. It’s a challenge to be supportive while at the same time maintaining the emotional firewall that prevents us from becoming immobilized by the fear of our own mortality.
My friend’s recurrence means that I have to find a new way to relate to him. His situation is now more urgent than mine. Does that mean that the concerns I have about an upcoming test are less valid? Do I seem petty when sharing my worries about what my tests may find when his have already confirmed the worst? I don’t have any good answers to these questions.
I do know that for all the difficulties thyroid cancer brought to my life, through ThyCa, I have made friends that I count among those closest to me. For that, I am thankful. And so I will continue to do my best to be there for my friends, as I know they will surely be for me.
ANAPLASTIC THYROID CANCER (ATC) WEB SITE LAUNCHED:
New ATC Site Educates
Patients, Families, Professionals, and Public
Developed by Survivors and Caregivers, Is Sponsored by
Anaplastic thyroid cancer is a very rare and highly aggressive cancer. It is difficult to treat and has long been little understood.
Now, the newly launched Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer Web Site (www.thyca.org/atc) gives patients, families, and physicians ready access to key information about this disease, treatments, clinical trials, and critical decisions involved when first diagnosed with anaplastic thyroid cancer. The medical content receives ongoing review and input from ThyCa’s Medical Advisory Council of 22 nationally known thyroid cancer specialists, as well as from additional specialists with expertise in anaplastic thyroid cancer.
The web site’s authors are anaplastic survivors and caregivers whose first-hand experience with this disease led them to choose the site’s 16 topic areas. Many participants in the site’s development lost loved ones to this cancer. Some have taken part in ThyCa’s Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer e-mail support group since it began in 1997.
These volunteers chose topics they most wished they had understood when they or their loved ones were first diagnosed. Twelve of the 16 topics are now on the site; the others will be added this fall. In addition, the site will continue to expand and to add information on treatment, research, and support services.
“I am thrilled to see our ATC-related content on the ThyCa web site, thereby filling a void and heightening ATC awareness for patients, survivors, patients’ friends and families, and physicians,” says Bradley Rubin, ATC caregiver and coordinator of the site development project. “We wanted others to know what we wished we knew. Now, we can share our knowledge more broadly. This web site will continue to grow and will add key information. We invite further contributions. Future submissions can be e-mailed to email@example.com.”
To those who have lost a loved one to this disease, he adds, “you can all take comfort that this journey did not end in vain. We now have the base of a web site that those who follow can use as a starting point to make their unfortunate new journey easier than ours.”
“To those who are seeking support and information as a result of their own battle, or that of a loved one with ATC, welcome to this site and to our e-mail group,” says Cheri Wallace Lindle, ThyCa Board Member and founder in 1997 of the Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer E-mail Support Group. “I cannot thank Brad enough for putting his energy, time, and talent into this project.”
“Because anaplastic is one of the fastest-growing tumors, patients and families need current treatment information right away when they receive the diagnosis,” says Gary Bloom, ThyCa Board Chair. “This site is an important accomplishment and a highly useful tool in anaplastic thyroid cancer management.”
The new site is one of many free education and support services available from ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association (www.thyca.org).
ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. is pleased to announce the expansion of its research grant program with the awarding of two 2-year grants, including ThyCa’s first-ever grant for research on medullary thyroid cancer. ThyCa awarded its first and second research grants in 2003 and 2004.
The recipient of the Thyroid Cancer Research Grant is Erich M. Sturgis, M.D., of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Dr. Sturgis’s research proposal is titled “Radiation Response Genotype and Risk of Papillary Thyroid Cancer: A Case-Control Study.”
The recipient of ThyCa’s first-ever Medullary Thyroid Cancer Research Grant is Matthias Schott, M.D., of the Heinrich-Heine University of Duesseldorf in Duesseldorf, Germany. Dr. Schott’s medullary thyroid cancer research proposal is “Induction of Cytotoxic Immunity in Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma by Dendridic Vaccination.” Both grant recipients will receive a second year of funding pending status reports.
ThyCa’s grants are open to all researchers and institutions worldwide. The grant review and selection process was based on proposals’ scientific merit and was conducted by the scientific review panel of the American Thyroid Association (ATA), the professional association of clinicians and researchers involved in thyroid diseases. The grant fundraising was conducted by the volunteers of ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. through its ongoing campaign for thyroid cancer research.
Gary Bloom, ThyCa Board Chair, said, "ThyCa is proud to expand ThyCa’s grant award program. We greatly appreciate the volunteer efforts involved in this important effort. We thank the American Thyroid Association for its wonderful support and its members’ commitment to the well-being of thyroid cancer patients.”
“We are excited by the announcement of these new research grants, and wish to thank the many volunteers and donors for their loving and generous support of our research fundraising. This wonderful announcement brings us one step closer to finding cures for all thyroid cancer and a future free of thyroid cancer,” said Joni Eskenazi, ThyCa Board Member and Fundraising Chair.
Nearly 50 thyroid cancer survivors and caregivers packed the meeting room in Silver Spring, Maryland, at the September 17, 2005, meeting of the ThyCa Washington, D.C. Support Group, where the guest speaker was Leonard Wartofsky, M.D.
Dr. Wartofsky is President-Elect of The Endocrine Society, past president of the American Thyroid Association, and Director of Medicine at Washington Hospital Center in D.C. Dr. Wartofsky, a world- renowned authority on thyroid cancer and thyroid disorders, is editor of the medical textbook “Thyroid Cancer: A Comprehensive Guide to Clinical Management” and the co-editor of the patient and caregiver reference book “Thyroid Cancer: A Guide for Patients.”
Dr. Wartofsky discussed TSH suppression recommendations and how they depend on individual patient circumstances, with the TSH level appropriate for the patient’s stage of the disease, considering the relative risks and benefits involved. He answered numerous questions, noting that a home-based TSH test can detect TSH greater than 5, but it’s not sensitive enough for the careful titration in the tight TSH range sought for thyroid and thyroid cancer patients.
He also discussed Thyroglobulin (Tg) as a marker for common types of thyroid cancer just as PSA is for prostate cancer. Asked about Tg levels, he noted that for people with a thyroid gland, the Tg range is 3-40 nanograms. After thyroid surgery the Tg range is 1-5. If radioiodine is totally effective, the Tg is close to 0, the goal.
WANT TO HELP OTHERS BUT NOT SURE HOW TO START? HELPFUL TIPS FOR THYROID CANCER AWARENESS, SUPPORT, AND INFORMATION
Thank you very much for your support!
ThyCa’s web site expands every week, thanks to the wonderful contributions of our web site team: Betty Solbjor, Webmistress since ThyCa’s founding; Joel Amromin, Support Groups Pages and Special Projects Webmaster; more than two dozen Publications Committee Volunteers; and the ongoing input we receive from our 22-member Medical Advisory Council and additional specialists.
A few of the newest additions:
My dear girlfriend told me today that she was diagnosed Friday with thyroid cancer and will have full surgery this Wednesday.
After googling and finding your site, I didn't have to go any further to get a complete understanding of what I want/need to know. After reading for 2 hours and printing about 20 pages, I am well prepared to understand her new medical terms, have a basic knowledge, and know how to best be her friend and support during this new time in her life.
Your site was not only comprehensive for a newbie like me, but it was so clearly designed that there was no frustration getting the info.
Thank you for all the time and effort building this sensitive site. I do expect to use it often and help support it.
The 8th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference kicks off in Denver, Colorado on Friday October 21, 2005 and continues through Sunday, October 23rd. The conference takes place at the Sheraton Denver West Hotel, 360 Union Boulevard, Lakewood, Colorado.
ThyCa’s conference is a unique opportunity for thyroid cancer survivors and caregivers to learn and share with others who understand just what you're going through. This year’s conference features 22 distinguished physicians and a total of more than 60 speakers and 100 sessions. We’re excited that people from 35 states, Canada, and the Philippines have already registered. Registration is also available on site at the conference, and walk-in attendees are welcome. Scholarships are available. The registration table opens at 8 a.m. each day.
For the program schedule, complete list of speakers, transportation information, and more details, visit www.thyca.org
ThyCa’s RESEARCH FUNDRAISING DINNER: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2005 AT THE SHERATON DENVER WEST
The gala Dinner/Auction Fundraiser on Friday, October 21 in Denver helps move ThyCa toward its dream of a cure for all thyroid cancer. You may reserve your tickets for the dinner at the conference. Or, explore the Auction Offerings on the ThyCa web site, and ask a friend who’s attending to bid for you.
Our research grant funding and free support services are made possible by our dedicated volunteers and contributors, this benefit evening, and the many other wonderful Rally for Research events. Thank you to everyone!
The articles in this newsletter represent the opinions of their authors and are not official positions of ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc. The articles by laypeople do not offer medical advice, as the authors are not doctors and have no medical training. Articles by physicians are educational and not intended to offer medical advice, as physicians cannot diagnose through the Internet. If you have medical questions, please consult with your physician.
ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc. (www.thyca.org) is an all-volunteer nonprofit 501(c)(3) service organization advised by nationally recognized thyroid cancer specialists and dedicated to support, education, communication, awareness for early detection, and thyroid cancer research fundraising and research grants.
Throughout the year ThyCa offers free resources, including education through the web site, our low-iodine cookbook downloadable from the web site, several e-mail support groups, local support groups coast to coast, the person-to-person network for one-to-one support, newsletters, and the survivors' toll-free telephone number.
Copyright (c) 2005 ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc. (www.thyca.org). We encourage you to send this newsletter to your family and friends. For permission to reprint in another electronic or print publication, please contact ThyCa.
ThyCa invites thyroid cancer survivors, families, and friends to tell their friends and relatives about ThyCa’s free year-round support services and publications, including our award-winning educational web site, our free thyroid cancer awareness brochures, and our conference and other special events.
We want your comments on this newsletter! Do you like it? What would you like us to print? Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc. P.O. Box 1545, New York, NY 10159-1545
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