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Thyroid Support & Education at the University of Colorado Cancer Center

About Thyroid Cancer Surgery

Thyroid cancer is usually treated by surgically removing part or all of the thyroid gland and undergoing a follow-up radioactive treatment to kill any remaining cancer cells.

Your surgery should be done by a very experienced surgeon. Ask your potential surgeon if he or she performs at least 20 thyroid surgeries per year. With an experienced surgeon, the risk of nerve damage is only 1 to 2 percent.

You should expect to be in the hospital for about one or two days after your surgery, and it will take about a week to recover. About six to eight weeks after surgery, you may need to receive a radioactive iodine treatment to kill any remaining cancer cells.

Post-Surgery Treatment

You may need to stop taking thyroid hormone for three to six weeks in order for the radioactive iodine to work. During this time, you can expect to feel very tired, cold, constipated and have difficulty concentrating and controlling emotions. The day after you receive your radioactive iodine treatment, you will begin taking thyroid hormone again and should start feeling better in two-to-four weeks.

After your radioactive iodine treatment, you will undergo a scan to ensure the treatment was successful. It may show that you still need more radioactive iodine treatment. After your treatment is complete, you will need life-long hormone replacement and evaluations.

We Offer Many Types of Support

You can access our support network without having to be a patient here.

As the only comprehensive cancer center in the region, we offer support and education resources for all cancer patients, as well as their friends, families and supporters.

Additional Thyroid Patient Resources

Cancer Information and Counseling Line (CICL) - FREE

Cancer Information and Counseling Line

(800) 525-3777
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mountain time


Cancer Information Counseling Line

The Cancer Information & Counseling Line (CICL) is a nationally recognized service that offers free telephone counseling for people with cancer, as well as their friends and family members.


This unique, free service is provided by the AMC Cancer Fund, an affiliate of the University of Colorado Cancer Center.



  • During a short-term telephone session, our trained CICL counselors take time to talk with you about your cancer concerns. All calls are confidential.
  • Our counselors provide well-informed and caring support. They offer simple, clear answers to medical questions. They help you to address your issues and figure out how to communicate with others about your diagnosis.
  • After treatment is complete, your CICL counselor can help you adjust to your life as a survivor.

Monfort Family Cancer Resource Center - FREE

Cancer Resource Center


The Monfort Family Foundation Cancer Resource Center is a rich resource for people with cancer, regardless of whether you are receiving treatment at the University of Colorado Cancer Center.


Our American Cancer Society Cancer Resource Navigator is located in the Cancer Resource Center and can assist you with the following information:

  • Books, brochures, binders and other information about specific cancer types
  • Information on cancer topics such as nutrition, side effects and clinical trials
  • Support groups and educational classes at our facility and in the local area
  • Computers with Internet access
  • Information about lodging and transportation services near our facility
  • Audio/visual materials for use during your treatment at the CU Cancer Center. Topics include: stress release, guided imagery, stories, spirituality and relaxation
  • Tours of the CU Cancer Center for new patients, caregivers and special "Lemonade Tours" for children of cancer patients



8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Monday through Friday



University of Colorado Cancer Center
1665 Aurora Court
Mail Stop F-704
Aurora, CO 80045



Laura Woollen, LSW
American Cancer Society Patient Navigator
(720) 848-0316

LIVESTRONG™ Cancer Survivorship Program - FREE

LIVESTRONG™ Cancer Survivorship Program


We are home to one of just seven Lance Armstrong LIVESTRONG Cancer Survivorship Programs in America. Cancer Survivorship Resource Centers are located at UCCC and at three Community Based Centers in Colorado, including Denver Health Medical Center, St. Mary’s Regional Cancer Center in Grand Junction and St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo.


Our survivorship program brings resources, support and information to cancer survivors in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region. The Cancer Survivorship Program consists of:


  • Telephone counseling and support program after cancer treatment is complete
  • Cancer survivor support groups and educational classes
  • On-going cancer survivorship needs assessment
  • Cancer survivor research and dissemination


For questions regarding the Cancer Survivorship Program, please contact Alison Faust Jones at (720) 848-0395 or

Cancer Support and Education Programs - FREE

Cancer Support Groups and Educational Programs

View Calendar

Coping with the Stressors of Cancer 

Coping with the Stressors of Cancer


Oncology Social Workers are available in the outpatient clinics and in the hospital to help patients and families manage the stresses that are associated with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Stresses include:

  • Financial difficulties
  • Insurance issues
  • Parenting concerns
  • Relationship issues
  • Emotional distress
  • Current or anticipated transportation problems
  • Housing/Lodging
  • Terminal illness
  • Advanced directives
  • Inadequate support at home

Services provided by our social workers include:

  • Psychosocial assessment
  • Crisis intervention
  • Financial counseling
  • Help with advanced directives
  • Brief individual, group, marital, and family counseling
  • Referrals to community resources
  • Patient and family conferences
  • Discharge planning
  • Grief and bereavement counseling
  • Hospice/Home care education and referral
  • Support Groups referrals

Nutritional Counseling

Nutritional Counseling


Nutrition is a very important part of your care during and after treatment at The CU Cancer Center. We have a registered dietitian available to help you with questions and concerns about:

  • Managing side effects
  • Changes in appetite
  • Review of tube feeding or Total Parenteral Nutrition needs
  • Cancer prevention and nutrition education
  • Cancer survivorship and nutrition education
  • Review of supplements
  • Resources and educational materials on topics related to cancer and nutrition


Please call (720) 848-0300 to make an appointment for nutritional counseling related to your cancer diagnosis.

Art Therapy  - FREE

Art Therapy


Art therapy is available to individuals or groups Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at the Cancer Center. Gail Opsahl, art therapist and cancer survivor, provides free, fun and inspiring hands-on art activities. Experience the gifts that come through art, intuition, imagination, insight and inspiration. Please call Gail Opsahl at (720) 848-2450 for more information or to schedule an appointment. No previous art experience necessary!

Cancer Rehabilitation Therapy

Cancer Physical Rehabilitation


Cancer treatments produce physiological changes to normal tissue and normal body functions as well. Physical therapy can promote recovery from these changes. These changes include:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of energy
  • A change in body fat mass
  • Decreased levels of normal physical activity


We have specialists trained in cancer rehabilitation available to assist you. For more information, please contact the UCH Physical Therapy Department at (720) 848-2000.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The Center for Integrative Medicine


University of Colorado Hospital's Center for Integrative Medicine offers physician-managed care that emphasizes the wellness and healing of the entire person, drawing on both conventional medicine and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). If eligible, grants are available for cancer patients to receive free CAM therapies. Please call (720) 848-1090 for more information.

Palliative Care

Palliative Care


This team provides care and support to patients and families facing a serious or life-threatening illness. The Palliative Care Consult Services team works directly with the patient’s primary physician(s) to help ease pain and other symptoms. The team also addresses psychological, social, emotional, and spiritual needs associated with end of life.

Request an Appointment

Cancer Resource Center


8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Monday through Friday


University of Colorado Cancer Center
1665 Aurora Court
Mail Stop F-704
Aurora, CO 80045


Laura Woollen, LSW
American Cancer Society Patient Navigator
(720) 848-0316