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Thyroid Cancer Treatment at the University of Colorado Cancer Center

The Endocrine Neoplasms program
at the CU Cancer Center

The Endocrine Neoplasms program at University of Colorado Hospital brings a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, research scientists, nurses and other health care professionals together for the treatment of endocrine neoplasms, including thyroid cancer.

Call (720) 848-2650 to request an appointment

Second opinion consult

Your thyroid gland produces hormones that affect heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight. A diagnosis of cancer in this critical command center may stir up fear and uncertainty.

If you or a loved one is facing this news, The University of Colorado Cancer Center is here to listen, learn and help.

The region's only NCI-designated cancer center

The University of Colorado Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Colorado (and one of only 40 in the United States).

Here, you will find the nation's only joint thyroid oncology clinic, staffed by both endocrinologists and oncologists. We offer the latest research, treatment and support to ensure you’re backed by the latest advancements in your fight against cancer.

At the CU Cancer Center, we’re dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. In fact, our 5-year survival rate for many kinds of cancer is up to 30% higher than state, regional and national averages.

To begin your journey with a dedicated team of thyroid cancer experts, call us at (720) 848-2650.

In the News: A More Reliable Thyroid Cancer Test

UCH's Bryan Haugen, MD, is one of several doctors who contributed to the development of a more reliable test for thyroid cancer. Haugen has spent 20 years researching thyroid cancer and recognizing the signs that separate it from something benign.

 

Previously, many tests would come back inconclusive for thyroid cancer and doctors performed surgery simply to determine if tissue was cancerous.

 

The new test is called the Afirma Gene Expression Classifier and was developed by the company Veracyte (www.veracyte.com). The test looks for hundreds of different indicators of cancer on a molecular level. Providers around the country began performing the test about a year ago.

 

"I'm very excited that this test is available," Haugen said. "Over the past 20 to 25 years we and others have developed 50, 60, or 70 potential tests."

 

Text adapted from the 9News story by Todd Walker

Bryan Haugen, MD describes thyroid cancer test

 

Watch the 9News.com story

 

See Dr. Haugen's profile

 

Comprehensive Care

At the CU Cancer Center, the same caring team of doctors and support professionals will be with you throughout your entire journey, from your initial appointment and evaluation to treatment and aftercare.

  • Your team is made up of experts from many fields:  surgeons, oncologists, endocrinologists, radiologists, nurses, social workers, geneticists and counselors. Most of those you’ll meet specialize specifically in thyroid cancer treatment, support and rehabilitation. They review your test results, your progress and discuss the best next step in your care with each other and with you.
  • The Endocrine Neoplasm team meets weekly to evaluate your case, plan and deliver treatment, manage side effects and support you after your treatment is completed.
  • A dedicated clinical care coordinator is available to facilitate specialty care.
  • All your records, consultations, test results and provider notes about you and your treatment are in an electronic medical record, available to all the doctors within the University of Colorado Hospital system who may be called in from all our specialties to help treat you and your condition. 
  • You also have access to complementary and alternative medicine through our doctor-led Center for Integrative Medicine.
  • We treat the whole person. Cancer treatment at UCH is designed to support you and educate you and your entire support network.

 

Advanced Research and Treatment

As the regional leader in cancer research, treatment and support, we offer specialized care not available anywhere else in Colorado:

  • World-renowned experts in cancer diagnosis and staging, which are the first steps for getting proper cancer care.
  • Sensitive serum thyroglobulin testing. Thyroglobulin is made only by thyroid cells and thyroid cancer cells.
  • National experts in sensitive ultrasound examination of the neck and biopsies of abnormal tissue.
  • Expertise in alcohol ablation (removal) of recurrent cancer for some patients who have had multiple neck surgeries.
  • Nuclear medicine specialists who have expertise in radioiodine treatment using dosimetry—a special technique to calculate doses of radioiodine that are most effective and safest for the patient.
  • The use of recombinant human thyroid stimulating hormone (Thyrogen®) and some treatment to give patients an alternative to thyroid hormone withdrawal for necessary tests.
  • Highly individualized computerized treatment planning for three-dimensional radiation treatment using IMRT (intensity modulated radiation therapy), which delivers the highest treatment dose to tumors while sparing normal tissue.
  • Radiation therapists who are skilled in re-irradiation, if needed, and are also experts in stereotactic radiation.
  • Access to many new treatments, including the latest drugs and vaccines for treating thyroid cancer, through our involvement in clinical trials.
Thyroid Diagnostic

Thyroid Cancer at a Glance

  • Thyroid cancer forms in the thyroid gland, which is an organ at the base of the throat. The thyroid gland makes hormones that affect heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight.
  • More than 44,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed annually with the disease.
  • In general, this is one of the least deadly cancers. The 5-year survival rate (the percentage of people living at least 5 years after being diagnosed) for all cases is about 97%.
  • Thyroid cancer is different from many other adult cancers in that it is commonly diagnosed in younger people. Nearly 2 of 3 cases are found in people between the ages of 20 and 55.
  • The four main types of thyroid cancer are papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic. The type of thyroid cancer depends on how the cancer cells look under a microscope.
  • Some types grow faster than others. The chance of recovery depends on the type of thyroid cancer, whether it has spread beyond the thyroid, patient age and overall health.
  • Because thyroid cancer can return, life-long monitoring is necessary.

Source: American Cancer Society

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