Thyroid Cancer Survivors Association Annual Meeting Scheduled for October 2008
For many people who have suffered from a cancer diagnosis, meeting with other survivors can help heal the wounds of cancer, and thyroid cancer is no different.
The eleventh annual Thyroid Cancer Survivors Association has been scheduled for October 17-19, 2008 in beautiful St. Louis, Missouri. The occasion is focused on people whose hearts have been moved by thyroid cancer and the event is not restricted to patients only.
The occasion is open to patients who are currently being tested, those that have been recently diagnosed, long-term survivors of the disease, and people who have the disease in its most advanced stages. Caregivers and friends are also welcome.
The occasion will include more than eighty sessions, which feature leading physicians and other consultants who specialize in research within the field. Recent research studies and advances plus follow up treatment plans will be discussed. Coping skills and strategies will be highlighted as well. The occasion will be held at the Sheraton Westport Hotel, also referred to as the Lakeside Chalet, which is located at 191 Westport Plaza in St. Louis.
The cost to secure tickets is fifty dollars, and forty for the annual membership, or thirty-five dollars for the members who are designated as lifetime members. The occasion offers a discount of five dollars for those that register and secure their online reservation before September 17, 2008.
Several research directors will be attending, and this includes thyroid surgeons and endocrinologists that study and practice at the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, as well as The Cleveland Clinic New York University Clinical Cancer Center, and not to mention Yale University School of Medicine, plus Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, University of Florida Shands Cancer Center.
Brief History of the Thyroid Cancer Survivors Association
Their website has been created and is maintained by survivors of this disease. Their mission was launched in October 1995 and at that time they began developing a network of services that link thyroid cancer survivors and health care professionals around the world.
Their mission is a noble one, which includes providing education, support research, and communication to people that have been touched by this disease. Their website is located at http://www.thyca.org/ and is maintained by the not for profit organization. Their website is packed with useful information relating to thyroid cancer, such as a FAQ section, a "newly diagnosed" section and "recent research", plus a "how to help" section.
If you are looking for more research this topic, we encourage you to visit the Thyroid Cancer Survivors Association website.
Scientists Probe the Risk of Cell Phone Use and Cancer
Notable Cancer Doctor Discusses Cancer Risk Concerning Cell Phone Use
The director of a prominent cancer research institution has released cautionary words to his administrators and staff to restrain from excessive use of cell phones because of a chance of cancer, according to The Associated Press. The director at the Cancer Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Ronald Herberman, stated that while the data about a cell phone-cancer relationship has not yet been proven beyond a fact, people should make precautions, above all for children.
Dr. Herberman continues by stating to The Associated Press that the basis of his concern is that we ought not to wait for definite facts to be released, but instead be cautious and safe, instead of being sorry at a later date.
Brain Surgeons Raise Concerns About Cell Phone Use and Cancer Risk
Previously this year, three remarkable brain surgeons brought to light their concerns about cell phone use and the risk of cancer while appearing on "The Larry King Show." Their nervousness on the subject was mostly based on observational studies that documented a notable link between cell phone use and cancer, which by any means was not a causal relationship. The extremely important of these research studies was termed Interphone, an immense examination in thirteen countries, which include Canada, Israel and several in Europe.
Some of the data suggests a relationship amid cell phone use and three types of cancerous tumors: glioma; parotid cancer, a salivary gland close to the ear; and acoustic neuroma, a tumor that substantially occurs near where the ear and the brain meet. Indeed, all of these tumors are uncommon, so if cell phone use does indeed raise the risk of developing cancer, the risk is yet very low.
Researchers Probe Cell Phone and Cancer Risk in Children
Researchers in Britain warn the public that cell phone use can lead to brain tumors, and they are breaking ground by issuing public warnings to parents with children under the age of eight. The researchers state that these children should not use a cell phone at all. Their review says intense use can contribute to tumors in the brain and ears, and furthermore the report states that until recently, many scientists have mostly understated the danger.
Brain Cancer and Cell Phone Use
Public worries about cell phone use leading to the development of cancerous tumors is nothing new. Indeed, these concerns are nearly as old as the cell phone industry itself. However, the alarms are becoming louder because the use of cell phones in modern world has become more prevalent, causing the level of concern to rise.
A trial in the international journal Epidemiology October issue last year, discovered that people who have a history of cell phone use for the last ten years may absolutely have an increased risk of developing a rare, but very dangerous brain tumor.
The chairman of the National Radiological Protection Board, Professor Sir William Stewart, stated that the warnings are graver now seeing that the facts of potentially dangerous effects have evolved into more persuasive studies within the last five years. The Professor and his colleagues debate that four studies in specific have led to growing concern.
Cell Phones Use Could Be More Dangerous Than Smoking Cigarettes
Millions of deaths could result over the long term, it is warned. A trial led by a renowned cancer expert documents that cell phone use could possibly kill more people than smoking it is reported. The study which was organized by Dr. Vini Khurana, documented that there is an increasing body of evidence which shows that using cell phones for a period of ten years or longer could double the risk of developing a rare but dangerous brain cancer.
Khurana has been described by many as one of the world's leading neurosurgeons, and he based his conclusion on the data collected that shows that three billion people around the world now use the phones. This number is nearly three times higher than people who have the habit of smoking cigarettes. And the bad news is that cigarette smoking leads to death in nearly five million people each year.
Many question if Khurana is overstating the numbers. Dr. Khurana, however, states that the numbers back him up. He also notes that there is little doubt that cell phone use is risky and data shows it can very well lead to the development of brain tumors.
The risks, according to Khurana, will arise as a more prevalent threat in the years ahead.
Contrary to this view, the scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered in a study funded by Motorola that the electromagnetic radiation which is created by cell phones does not lead to a stress indication in mouse, hamster or even in human cells growing in cultures.
The stress acknowledgment is a cellular safety mechanism caused by various adverse stimuli, some of which include heat shock, inflammation of heavy metals. Intense levels of the stress indication in cells are believed to result in alterations associated with malignancy.
Andrei Laszlo, Ph.D., who is associate professor of radiation oncology and a scientist at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine performed highly sensitive, extremely well-controlled tests on living cells irradiated with energy like that from mobile phones, but at levels 5 to 10 times higher than those set for the devices by regulatory agencies. Dr. Laszlo stated that there was no evidence that shows evidence of stress response resulting from cell phone radiation exposure.
If you have questions or concerns about cell phone use and cancer risk, it is recommended that you consult with your health care provider.
Scientists Probe Hashimoto's and Thyroid Cancer
For many people with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, the frustration of having an autoimmune disorder is only compounded by the fact that their disorder could lead to the development of other diseases. Fortunately, researchers are making great progress and learning more about the mysteries of autoimmune disorders.
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Patients and Thyroidectomy
Researchers investigated the use of thyroidectomy (surgery to take out the thyroid gland) as a procedure for Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which is sometimes referred to as HT. In a scientific probe, four hundred and seventy-four patients were studied, of which twenty-eight percent had a pre-operative physicians determination of having a thyroid cancer tumor. Among the patients studied, not one experienced loss of life or continuing surgical complications. Thirty-two percent had transient post-operative hypoglycemia and less than one percent had transient recurrent nerve palsy. And less than one percent had postoperative neck hematoma, a solid swelling of clotted blood within the tissue. The examiners concluded that thyroidectomy could, in some cases, be recommended for patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
(The thyroid gland resembles the shape of a butterfly and the two wings represent the left and right thyroid lobes, which wrap around the trachea.)
Hashimoto's Patients May Face Higher Risk of Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis
An unexpected revelation of the study was that a total of fifty-three percent of the Hashimoto's patients also had thyroid cancer -- several more than the twenty-eight percent who went into the surgery with a thyroid cancer diagnosis alone. When you rule out the patients who beforehand knew that they had thyroid cancer, the predominance of thyroid cancer in the HT patients was as high as nearly thirty-six percent. According to the researchers, the definite reason as to why there is such a prominent link between HT and thyroid cancer is theorized to be an immune response. The positive point to be revealed from the study, however, is that papillary thyroid cancer in HT patients does have a more satisfactory prognosis than in patients without HT.
Despite the fact that the thyroid gland enlarges with HT' thyroiditis and invariably has swollen contours called bossilations, HT does not, in some cases, result in separate nodules or lumps in the thyroid. It is highly recommended, however, to have a thyroid lump examined, especially if the patient already has a Hashimoto's thyroiditis diagnosis so that it can be determined if the lump or nodule represents a thyroid cancer. An experienced thyroid cancer surgeon usually does this investigation by a thorough examination of the neck area to determine whether or not the thyroid lump needs further testing.
Although it is not altogether rare to develop thyroid cancer and Hashimoto's thyroiditis simultaneously, a patient can be at an increased risk for a particular type of thyroid cancer called a lymphoma, which can be treated and cured if discovered early. Therefore, no thyroid nodule should be ignored.
Scientists Probe Relationship Between Hashimoto's and Thyroid Cancer
HT is a frequent thyroid disorder. Hence the difficulty of diagnosing a coexisting thyroid cancer, its treatment remains with contention. A study was conducted in which one hundred and twenty patients who had thyroid cancer during an eleven-year period from 1976 to 1986 and documented the clinical characteristics of patients with both diagnoses. Thirteen of these patients had cancer, which is associated with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. And among the patients, six had a previous history of thyroiditis before the official diagnosis of thyroid cancer. The remainder of the seven patients had indications of HT on review of the thyroid specimen.
The most typical characteristics, which caused the need for surgical intervention, were the signs of a non-suppressing dominant nodule and a cold realm on thyroid scan.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT ) is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid linked with goiter and hypothyroidism. And because there exists a known association between HT and lymphomas of the thyroid, the link between HT and thyroid cancer remains unclear.
If you or a loved one is faced with the question of how to deal with a Hashimoto's and thyroid cancer, it is highly recommended that you contact a health care professional.
Consult a Professional
The ultimate resource for answers to any Hashimoto's and thyroid cancer question should be your personal health care provider. If you or a loved one has questions about Hashimoto's and thyroid cancer, schedule and appointment with your physician at your earliest convenience and ask these important questions. Check back for more thyroid health articles.
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In the case of thyroid cancer, a secondary tumor is called Metastatic Thyroid Cancer and nearly fifteen percent of thyroid tumor patients develop distant metastases.
Experimental Drug Slows Thyroid Cancer Progression
Thanks to important progress in recent years, cancer rates have declined markedly in the United States. But unfortunately, the incidence of thyroid cancer diagnosis have nearly doubled in the past thirty years. And since thyroid cancer can return well beyond its first treatment, it is no surprise that news reports show research on this type of tumor is at an all time high.
A recent analysis conducted at the M. D. Anderson's Cancer Center in Houston studied thyroid cancer metastasis, with the most common sites of metastases being lymph nodes, bone or lung. Cancer cells may at times fragment and break-away from the primary tumor then circulate through the blood stream to later fix upon a new site and grow into a secondary tumor. In the case of thyroid cancer, this secondary tumor is called Metastatic Thyroid Cancer and nearly fifteen percent of thyroid tumor patients develop distant metastases.
For many thyroid cancer patients, papillary or follicular thyroid carcinomas are not fatal. Removal of the thyroid through surgery is often followed by treatment with radioactive iodine and is, in most cases, sufficient. However, once the cancer metastasizes, the treatment becomes more complex often involving a thyroid surgeon, an endocrinologist, a radiologist, and, in some cases medical and radiation oncologists.
Recent Reports Published
Current studies have shown progress in the unraveling of the mystery behind thyroid tumors and how to prevent them from spreading. A recent report published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that a drug called Motesanib Diphosphate, a VEGF inhibitor, was administered to metastatic thyroid cancer patients. The drug is manufactured by Amgen, Inc. in Thousand Oaks, California. The results were documented by Dr. Sherman, chair and professor at M. D. Anderson Hospital, along with colleagues in ten countries and resulted in one of the largest studies on metastatic thyroid cancer ever conducted.
The study showed positive results among the ninety-three participants, equivalent to forty-nine percent. Of the participants, fourteen percent exhibited tumors that had shrunk in size, while thirty-five percent exhibited tumors that stabilized.
Dr. Sherman expressed that VEGF receptors show strong evidence in the treatment role of metastatic thyroid cancer. Dr. Sherman continued stating that there is no standard chemotherapy treatment for metastases thyroid cancer in its advanced stages. Treatment for thyroid cancer is a need that has been unmet.
The study included a once daily, orally administered pill of 125 mg Motesanib Diphosphate over a time span of forty-eight weeks to patients with metastatic or locally advanced thyroid cancer that was radioiodine resistant. The study goal was affirmed by radiological exams that confirmed the tumor had diminished in size. And the time frame of the response, as well as drug safety was studied by researchers.
The conclusion of the study showed patients with metastatic cancer or advanced cancer displayed a qualified reaction which indicates that Motesanib Diphosphate can result in partial responses in their tumors. In fact, Amgen's daily pill starves tumors to achieve the result needed which helps patients treat their cancer by shrinking the tumor and slowing the growth.
What's Next for Thyroid Tumor Research?
Locating new patients whose thyroid tumors have a specific mutation which are more plausible to respond to the drug is one example. This trial is the first to identify certain mutations in an effort to tailor therapy for future patients.
Which Treatment Option is Best?
Although there have been incredible strides made in the research within this field, surgery remains a viable treatment option for patients with certain types of thyroid cancer. An experienced thyroid cancer surgeon can, in some cases, remove the thyroid in one segment with little dissection of the tumor. If neck lymph nodes are distended as a result of papillary thyroid cancer, the patient will need to have them removed - an operation that is called a modified radical neck dissection.
Photo of Total Thyroidectomy
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In order to choose the best treatment plan for your cancer, it is best to consult with a professional who is experienced in the field of treatment for these types of cancers. Each thyroid tumor case has its own specific physical manifestations and as such, patients require an individual assessment in the privacy of a physician's office in order to determine the most effective treatment plan.
Individuals with a risk factor or symptom are encouraged to meet with an endocrinologist or thyroid cancer specialist for a private, one-on-one consultation as soon as possible. An endocrinologist is an exceptional starting point toward the goal of achieving resolution to questions or symptoms. If further treatment is necessary, the endocrinologist can recommend a thyroid surgeon or setup a treatment plan, or even suggest that a waiting period be established in order to track symptoms.
Stay Informed of Treatment Options
Although your doctor is responsible for the ultimate treatment plan for your thyroid cancer, it is important to keep informed about recent developments and research studies. Make a habit to scan thyroid research sites and blogs to find out more and keep informed about progress and news issues regarding this important type of cancer. For a more thorough and efficient information experience, Google alerts can be setup within a matter of minutes so that email updates are sent to you on the subject of your choice.
By developing a routine of daily or weekly information gathering, the mystery of thyroid cancer and current research findings is less frustrating.
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Thyroid Cancer Research Studies and Practices
Despite the small size of the thyroid gland, thyroid cancer has risen in numbers to become the third-fastest growing type of cancer in the United States. Therefore, it is not surprising that new thyroid cancer research is under way in many universities, hospitals and other medical institutions in the United States.
Great strides and improvements are made each year in the discovery of what causes the disease, how to treat the cancer and how to prevent it from occurring. Almost five percent of every cancer case in the United States is thyroid cancer, but the positive news is that this type of cancer responds well to treatment. Studies have shown that thyroid cancer responds well, for example, to a combination of surgery and radioactive iodine treatments. Many times the outcome of treatment results in patients who are cured of their cancer as well as recurrence rates that are lower.
New Research Studies Being Conducted
Recently, the National Cancer Institute granted Ohio State University a multi-year, twelve million dollar award to study this cancer which is becoming more prevalent in modern time. The study will necessitate participation by current faculty members in many of the sectors of the university's Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The focus of the work will concentrate on genetic factors which are predisposed to develop cancer and emphasize on distinguishing between benign or malignant thyroid tumors with a focal point on diagnostic accuracy.
Biopharmaceutical Company Research in the News
A large biopharmaceutical research company, Exelixis Inc., released information recently about an accord it had put together with the Food and Drug Administration regarding a trial drug that will be used to treat thyroid cancer. The accordance came about because the FDA and the drug production company specified how the pilot would be used ahead of time, which is helpful to both organizations because this agreement demonstrates the confidence on both sides that the drug works. Currently there are no approved drugs for this type of cancer.
Thyroid Cancer Trial Results
A study in the 1990s discovered that medullary thyroid cancer, an uncommon cancer that can occur in children who are genetically predisposed to the cancer, can be eliminated if surgery to remove the thyroid gland (thyroidectomy) is completed prior to the disease developing. The investigation did not bring up any potential complications of thyroidectomy surgery in the young children. The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine September 2005 issue and indicated that the operation is convoluted and afterwards, the patient must take synthetic thyroid hormone for the rest of their lives.
The study was conducted after researchers uncovered the possibility of children who inherit one of the particular mutation genes called RET to be more likely to develop medullary thyroid carcinoma. The possibility of a child being predisposed can be identified through genetic testing. This trial study was organized to see if these children could avoid the cancer by undergoing preventive thyroidectomy. This study was ground breaking in the field of thyroid cancer research because this type of cancer in young people spreads quickly with few symptoms.
Old Fashioned Medicine
Some tried-and-true methods of diagnosing thyroid cancer include physical examination of the neck by an experienced thyroid surgeon and ultrasound, a painless and non-invasive procedure which can provide your physician with a detailed picture of your thyroid gland.
If you are concerned about thyroid cancer or interested in learning more about research studies being conducted, talk to a cancer specialist who is experienced in the field of thyroid cancer.
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Note: The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be construed as medical advice or as a substitute for professional care. This site should not be used in place of professional medical advice. The author is not a physician. For medical emergencies, call 911!
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