Karen Smyers has competed as a professional triathlete for 30 years. In her lengthy career, she has won seven National and four World Championship titles, including a dramatic come-from-behind victory in the Hawaiian Ironman World Championships in 1995. Her victory at the short-course ITU Triathlon World Championship just 5 weeks later still earns her the distinction of being the only woman ever to win triathlon’s two most prestigious races in the same year.
In this episode, we hear Karen describe what the calls, ‘character building’ moments, including how she approached thyroid cancer in the midst of of preparing for the 2000 Olympics.
Other obstacles included a torn hamstring, being hit by a 18-wheeler, and a broken collar bone. Regardless of the obstacle, Karen was able to stay focused on and win the Pro National Ironman Championship.
At 42 and post thyroid cancer, Karen gave birth to her second child.
Listen to this episode and you will be inspired by Karen’s determination, perseverance, and approach to living life to the fullest. And, in some cases pushing boundaries and achieving what some would say not possible.
Currently, Karen shares her experience, optimism, and passion for racing as a coach, motivational speaker and co-director of the Lincoln Kids Triathlon. She is a 1983 graduate of Princeton University and lives in Lincoln, MA with daughter Jenna, son Casey, and husband and frequent training partner Michael King.
Contact: 11 Giles Rd, Lincoln, MA 01773 firstname.lastname@example.org www.karensmyers.com
This interview is a part of the lifestyle stories featured on the Doctor Thyroid podcast, an opportunity to hear from athletes and overachievers, and how they approach their diagnosis, surgery, and recovery.
In this case, we hear from Evan Simon, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Oregon State University. Evan was diagnosed with advanced Stage IV thyroid cancer, which resulted a 13 hour surgery. At the end of his surgery, Evan was told he would not be able to lift his hands overhead for 3 months, instead he broke the odds, taking him only 3 weeks.
Evan shares with us, his approach to first hearing the news, how he chose to share the news with his family, including his two young daughters, and what he did to speed his recovery. Evan will offer you tips to improve better your recovery, including physical rehabilitation and having an optimistic mindset.
During the interview, we also hear from special guest, Stasi Kasianchuk, MS, RD, Sports Dietitian at Oregon State University. Staci shares her experience in treating Evan through nutrition as a means to a better recovery, and improved lifestyle post-surgery.
University of Chicago Medicine researchers Briseis Aschebrook-Kilfoy, PhD, assistant research professor in epidemiology, and Raymon Grogan, MD, assistant professor of surgery lead the North American Thyroid Cancer Survivorship Study (NATCSS).
For their most recent research, Aschebrook-Kilfoy and Grogan recruited 1,174 thyroid cancer survivors – 89.9 percent female with an average age of 48
After treatment, thyroid cancer survivors face a lifetime of cancer surveillance and an anxiety-inducing high rate of recurrence, which could contribute to their findings.
"The goal of this study is to turn it into a long-term, longitudinal cohort," said Grogan, who hopes to develop a tool that physicians can use to assess the psychological wellbeing of thyroid cancer survivors. "But, there was no way to do that with thyroid cancer because no one had ever studied quality of life or psychology of thyroid cancer before.”
In this episode, we will explore:
The spiritual, social, psychological, and physical impacts of thyroid cancer. Some of the sometimes over-looked physical impacts include dry mouth, voice problems, dry eyes, dental problems, fatigue, dry skin, and hypoglycemia.
What happens to vocal cords after surgery? Even when not paralyzed, quality of voice is effected.
Often times, family members don't take treatment seriously. Society, healthcare professionals, and the media have minimized thyroid cancer, and in return has made patients feel minimized.
Anxiety about reoccurrence, RAI treatment, and self-concept, influence quality of life for thyroid cancer patients.
A 2011 study by Aschebrook-Kilfoy and Grogan found that thyroid cancer, which is most common in women, will double in incidence by 2019.
Dr. Jonas de Souza, Assistant Professor of Medicine, specializes in the treatment of head and neck cancer, including thyroid cancer at the University of Chicago.
Talking points of this episode:
What is the COST tool?
Patient-Centered Outcomes Research?
When is the best time to discuss costs with the thyroid cancer patient?
Who is most at risk of the increased financial burden of thyroid cancer?
How can a patient best prepare for the costs of thyroid cancer?
The COST tool for measuring the financial costs of thyroid cancer, http://www.facit.org/FACITOrg/Questionnaires
In this episode our guest is Dr. Martin Milner. Today's interview features information on optimizing medication with slow-release compounded thyroid replacement.
Can adding adjusting your medication from T4 to slow release with T3 really make you feel better? The answer is, yes! And, could also be the key to losing weight.
We also discuss the following topics, painful feet, dizziness, fatigue, hair loss, iron deficiency, chronic pain, fibromylagia, adrenal connection to to inflammation, sleep problems, muscle spasms, caution with your morning smoothies, and why you should stand up when taking T3.
Want to find a compounding pharmacy that will make your slow release T3 and T4? Start here: http://www.pccarx.com/
Dr. Milner has published several articles on new treatment protocols for hypothyroidism. Most recently, ” Hypothyroidism: Optimizing Medication with Slow-Release Compounded Thyroid Replacement” was published in the peer review journal of compounding pharmacists, International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding (IJPC) Vol. 9 No. 4 July/August 2005. In 2006 and 2007 he lectured around the United States guiding physicians and compounding pharmacists in the management of hypothyroidism using his protocol of slow released compounded thyroid replacement. Also to his credit are “Wilson’s Syndrome and T3 therapy – A Clinical Guide to Safe and Effective Patient Management” IJPC Vol. 3 No. 5, Sept/Oct 1999, p. 344-349 and Assessment and Management of Thermoregulation, IJPC Vol. 3 No. 5, Sept/Oct 1999, p. 350-351. Reprints of many of these and other Dr. Milner articles are available at CNMWellness.com, the medical education website of the Center for Natural Medicine. Dr. Milner co-authored chapter 14 in An Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide to Cancer by J. Diamond and W.L. Cowden, the most definitive text on alternative cancer therapies. He also served as the primary consulting physician for Judith Sach’s book Natural Medicine for Heart Disease. The has authored many articles over the years in cardiology.
Dr. Milner is well published with texts, medical journal articles and studies in cardiology, endocrinology, pulmonology, oncology, and environmental medicine. Dr. Milner published in May 2005, Menopause Revolution: Smashing the HRT Myth- Alternatives to Manufactured Drug Therapy , Agora Health Books. He enjoys what he calls practicing “integrated endocrinology” balancing all the endocrine hormones using bio-identical hormone replacement and amino acid neurotransmitter precursors.
Dr. Douglas Van Nostrand, MD is the Director of Nuclear Medicine and the Program Director of the Nuclear Medicine Residency Program at Washington Hospital Center and Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University Hospital Center.
His specialty is nuclear medicine, and his primary area of interest and expertise is the nuclear medicine diagnosis and treatment of thyroid cancer. He has held numerous academic and medical society positions including Clinical Professor of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences; past President, Mid-Eastern Society of Nuclear Medicine, Director of Continuing Medical Education Department, and other elected positions of the Medical Staff of Good Samaritan Hospital. He has over 150 articles published and has been the co-editor of seven medical books including the medical textbook entitled Thyroid Cancer, A Comprehensive Guide to Clinical Management.
In this episode, get the critical questions to ask prior to committing to a surgeon. And, other useful strategies to make sure a patient gets the best outcome possible.
Today's guest is Wendy Sacks, M.D., endocrinologist in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and the Thyroid Cancer Program at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.
Some of the topics covered include radioactive iodine treatment, blood testing, the role of the pathologist, selecting the right hospital and medical team for your thyroid cancer treatment, monitoring thyroid cancer reoccurrence, and supplementation.
In this episode, Dr. Spencer, Professor of Medicine at University of Southern California, discusses the importance of testing for thyroglobulin-antibodies and thyroglobulin. Important notes from this interview include:
Dr. Spencer's major areas of research interest are thyroid physiology and pathology, thyroglobulin and thyroid cancer, immunoassay techniques, thyroid hormone metabolism, and the cost-effective use of thyroid tests. Her current research includes clinical significance of Tg and TgAb in patients with thyroid cancers, parameters for optimizing thyroid hormone suppression of TSH for DTC. Studies on hypothalamic/pituitary mechanisms for regulating TSH, and testing for thyroid dysfunction during pregnancy.
Dr. Spencer earned her PhD from Glasgow University in Scotland. She then went on to complete two fellowships, one in Clinical Biochemistry at Glasgow, and the other at the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry.
Hear about the advances in thyroid ultra sound technology, along with the patient process from diagnosis to surgery. Key topics in this episode include how to research a surgeon, requesting a second opinion, selecting the best hospital, and the challenges faced when operating on the neck.
This episode features Dr. Joseph Sniezek, who is the Medical Director of Head & Neck Endocrine Surgery for Swedish Health Services.
Too often, the time between being told by your doctor to get an ultrasound to biopsy, often results in anxiety and a disconnect between surgeon - radiologist - pathologist. Now, with better technology, especially in the area of ultra sound, the multiple trips to specialists can be eliminated.
This episode features Dr. Shawn Soszka.
Topics covered in today’s interview include, starting your day right, tendon issues due to thyroid disease, insomnia, dizziness, painful feet, temperature testing, hypothyroidism, low dose Naltrexone, selenomethionine, and why some people feel worse when exercising. Also, discussed is adrenal function and optimal time of day for body temperature testing as related to the thyroid disease.
Dr. Soszka strives to integrate both systems of medicine. a focus on functional medicine, with emphasis on treating gastrointestinal, chronic disease, and endocrine based conditions. He specializes in: fatigue/adrenal exhaustion, thyroid disorders, digestion/gut health, autoimmune diseases.
In this episode hear from Dr. Greg Nigh, a Naturopath in Portland, OR.
Dr. Nigh will discuss the following topics: