Tag Archives: thyroid cancer

Which Pesticides Create Precancerous Changes in Thyroid Cells?


pesticidesBy Gary Pepper, M.D.
Last week I posted a few highlights from the just concluded International Thyroid Congress. One of the research papers presented at the meeting generated particular concern. Endocrinologists and scientists at UCLA Medical Center led by Dr. Jerome Hershman investigated the potential for pesticides to damage the DNA of thyroid cells. The group focused on double strand breaks, the type of damage that could eventually lead to cancer. This is a particularly relevant point due to the explosion in newly diagnosed thyroid cancers being reported in many areas of the world. The increase is likely related, at least in part, to improved diagnostic techniques for thyroid cancer but could also represent environmental influences. Continue reading

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Highlights of the 2015 International Thyroid Congress


Update from the 15th International Thyroid Congress, Orlando Florida, October, 2015
By Gary Pepper, M.D.
Welcome     I just returned from Orlando, Florida, where I attended the 15th International Thyroid Congress and want to provide a report of my experience, to readers of metabolism.com. This was truly an international event with an estimated 50% of the attendees from outside the U.S. Organizers of this event describe it as, “Renowned experts in thyroid function and biology, diagnosis and management of thyroid disease, and novel therapies for treating thyroid cancer are gathering at the 15th International Thyroid Congress (ITC) to present, discuss, and debate the latest advances in thyroidology. Held every five years, the ITC is a collaborative meeting of the four world thyroid associations; the ATA (American Thyroid Association), Asia-Oceania Thyroid Association (AOTA), European Thyroid Association (ETA), and Latin American Thyroid Society (LATS).”
I was particularly excited to be attending this conference this year since my colleagues, Drs. Paul Cassanova and Kathryn Reynolds and I were presenting our study on the use of combination T3 plus T4 for the treatment of underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
Here are some papers I found to be of particular interest; Continue reading

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Richard Faces Frustration Finding Treatment for Hypothyroidism After Thyroid Cancer


I thought Richards comments about the battle he faces getting treatment for hypothyroidism after having his thyroid removed for cancer, would be of interest to many readers at metabolism.com.
Richard writes:

I recently ordered Thyroid-S on Amazon.com and after all the research and apparently good results I have found online, I think I made the right choice. I had my thyroid removed because of cancer in 2005, took Cytomel at first, felt great, told to stop cytomel and start Levothyroxine, felt horrible. Two months out(125mcg) TSH was 43.0, increased dose to 137mcg wait another 2 months, TSH was 31.0 Finally told to take 200mcg and TSH started to come down. It took about 6 months to get my TSH where they wanted it and for the side effects I was given all types of medications. Continue reading

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Patti Keeps on Running Despite Thyroid Cancer


Thyroid cancer is one of the most common cancers of young adults. Many of these cancers have no symptoms until a routine exam reveals a lump in the neck. This was the case with Patti who shares her upbeat experience with us. The good news about this type of cancer is that despite spread to lymph nodes (metastasized) it is still very curable. So, if you notice an unexplained neck lump don’t hesitate to have it evaluated by an endocrinologist or other knowledgeable physician.

Here is what Patti has to say about her thyroid cancer experience;

I found a lump in my throat in August of this year. I am one of the few (about 10%) who tested positive for Thyroid cancer. I also had cancer in 4 of the lymph nodes of my neck. I am a competitive athlete (for fun not for a living) and I worried what would happen. I had surgery in September and although the last 4 months have been very hard on me, I am happy to report I am running, swimming and cycling again. The cancer is completely gone based on my body scan and negative bloodwork.

Most likely you do NOT have cancer. But you can’t roll the dice and not know. And if you do, you can and will get through it and go on to live a wonderful life. It takes work and perseverance to be healthy but it is worth it. 🙂

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Matt Offers Advice to Overcome Underweight


Being underweight can be as frustrating and embarrassing as being overweight. Matt writes about his experience with a fast metabolism due to thyroid hormone treatment for cancer. What he learned from his experience he puts into specifics to help others overcome a naturally fast metabolism and achieve a desirable body weight.

Matt offers members of metabolism.com the following comments:

It IS possible to gain weight, no matter how fast your metabolism is – I know from experience. I have a very fast metabolism – it was always fast – but now I *know* it to be abnormally fast because I have thyroid cancer, and as part of the treatment, I have to take a slightly above-normal dose of thyroid hormone, which is done to prevent the growth of the cancer. (Thyroid hormone controls the speed of your metabolism, so it would definitely be worth a trip to the doctor to have your thyroid levels tested if you have a hard time gaining weight.) My levels are not as high as they used to be (fortunately) since the cancer is now in remission and the level could be safely reduced somewhat, but I remember from when the levels were at their highest how it seemed like I had to eat constantly to maintain my weight. I remember that I seemed to have just as much of an appetite, if not more, than I did when I was running cross-country 8-12 miles a day (prior to my diagnosis), even though I was no longer running much at all.

What you have to remember is that it’s all a matter of how many calories you’re taking in. If you take in more calories than you burn, you WILL gain weight. It’s a lot easier to do with a well-designed nutrition program. After going through my initial cancer treatment, a couple years ago, I went to see a nutritionist who did numerous tests and designed a custom nutrition program for me. (The nutritionist was Dr. Frederick Sutter, if anyone’s interested, though I’m sure there are other nutritionists who can do similar tests.) One of the tests even determined the number of calories that I should be eating per day, which I think was 3500. Some of the people posting comments here may need even more calories than that.

Keep in mind that many professional athletes eat 8000 calories or more a day (Michael Phelps eats a staggering 12,000!) Talk about really having to spend a lot of time eating… unless anyone here is a professional athlete, you probably don’t need nearly that many calories. But it still can be a challenge.

While lately I’ve been a little less vigilant, and consequently my weight is a little lower than I’d like it to be, I know how to gain weight, and I successfully did so in the past even when my thyroid levels were higher. You do have to be vigilant to eat frequently.

What worked for me–and what my nutritionist recommended–was first of all to eat more protein. This is easiest to do on a non-vegetarian diet, but do make sure to include vegetable protein from sources like beans, nuts, and soy. This will help to increase caloric intake and build muscle. Also, eat frequently — preferably 4 meals a day, plus snacks. Healthy snacks include whole-grain crackers or rice cakes with peanut butter, cottage cheese with fruit and/or honey (or stevia), yogurt mixed with weigh protein, and protein shakes.

I think one of the biggest helps for me was supplementing my diet with weigh protein (I prefer the unsweetened kind, or Jay Robb’s sweetend with stevia since I avoid sugar), which as I just mentioned you can mix with yogurt or use to make protein shakes…or just mix with water or milk (or soy or almond milk). For one very brief period, I even started to gain too much weight, and I think it was due eating a lot of weigh protein without exercising enough–it works best if you’re working out, in which case it will definitely help you to build muscle. I’m also a big fan of Hemp Protein, which does not taste as good mixed with foods like yogurt, but can be used to make a good shake, especially when mixed with cocoa (I use a banana to sweeten it). It contains all the essential amino acids, plus chlorophyll, fiber, and more, and it’s completely vegetarian. It’s a big hit with vegetarian athletes.

Well, that should be enough to get you started…remember, it’s just a matter of figuring out ways to eat more calories! — but don’t eat junk! You may hear people say that you should just eat more cookies and cakes, etc., which is probably the worst advice that could be given. White flour (which on ingredient labels is referred to as “wheat flour”–watch out! look for “whole wheat flour”) and refined sugar are among the worst things ANYONE can eat, except in very, very modest quantities. And if this advice isn’t enough for you, research the glycemic index, and finally see a nutritionist if you need further assistance — it’s hard to find good advice in books and on the internet, since most of it is geared toward people wanting to lose weight. But a professional nutritionist can definitely help you to gain weight.

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