Life Redefined: My Resource List
Today, I want to share with you a few of my favorite online articles/resources for thyroid disease and cancer. Each link under the topics below is a resource that I personally use and that I commonly recommend to others.
There are different types of thyroid nodules: hot, cold, warm, malignant, benign, suspicious, etc. The information we need from doctors explaining the differences between these types of nodules is not always provided to us. However, understanding the type of nodule you have is important so you can understand the type of treatment or monitoring you need. If you have nodules on your thyroid or think you might, check out this article written by a doctor that explains the different types of thyroid nodules and what different characteristics may implicate.
Are your thyroid tests inconclusive? Is your doctor recommending a treatment that you’re not comfortable with? Do you need affirmation from another doctor before moving forward with treatment? You may be in a position where you want or need a second opinion from another doctor. If so, take a look at these articles and resources compiled by Mary Shomon. If you are looking for a second doctor (or maybe a first doctor!), you may want to check out this patient recommended directory of top-thyroid doctors, also compiled by Mary Shomon.
I’m confused by all these numbers
When your doctor gives you the results of your blood work, they can be CONFUSING. Trying to remember what’s normal is difficult on a good day; throw in thymentia and it’s impossible. Mary Shomon has created a table that will help you TREMENDOUSLY. She explains the different thyroid tests and what different values indicate. This is a great resource for all thyroid patients. Check it out here.
What’s the protocol?
If you’ve been diagnosed with well-differentiated thyroid cancer (papillary or follicular), the American Thyroid Association has made available to you a FABULOUS resource: Revised American Thyroid Association Management Guidelines for Patients with Thyroid Nodules and Differentiated Thyroid Cancer. These guidelines are a great tool for mapping out your treatment plan alongside your doctor. Download the pdf, print the guidelines off, and discuss them with your doctor at your next appointment. When you’re reading these, please note that each recommendation is associated with a rating that indicates how strongly the advising taskforce recommends the given guideline. Eg, a recommendation rating of “A” indicates “strongly recommends”, while a rating of “F” indicates “strongly recommends against.” Also, remember that these are guidelines and you/your doctor don’t have to follow each and every recommendation if it’s not right for YOU.
The Low Iodine Diet
For me, the hardest part of RAI is the low iodine diet. Trying to figure out what’s safe to eat is a chore. However, the diet is VERY important for thyroid cancer patients in order to get the maximum benefit from the RAI. If you have to go on the low iodine diet, I highly recommend you check out the Low Iodine Cookbook from ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association. This cookbook has been a life-saver for me. It clearly states what’s LID-friendly and what’s not, and it contains lots of recipes submitted by thyroid cancer patients and caregivers. This is the first resource I turn to when I have questions about the diet.
Young adult survivorship
Young adult cancer survivors have very different experiences with cancer compared to the rest of the cancer population. Many cancer support groups are geared towards older survivors, so young adult survivors can often feel isolated. However, there are now resources and organizations that are solely dedicated to young adult survivorship, such as Planet Cancer and the I’m Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation. These organizations are allowing young adults to have a voice against cancer. What do we have to say? Well, we actually tell a lot of jokes. No, cancer isn’t funny, but we laugh when we can. For more insight into young adult survivorship, read this awesome Newsweek article, “A Malignant Melanoma Walks Into a Bar…”
These are just a few of my go-to resources, but I hope you find them to be as useful as I have. What are YOUR favorite resources? What articles do you like to share with new survivors? What should I add to my reading list?
Tags: Life Redefined written by Joanna Isbill, Life Redefined: My Resource List, thyroid cancer patients, thyroid cancer resources, thyroid cancer support, thyroid cancer survivors, thyroid disease resources, young adult cancer resources