What are the treatment guidelines for pediatric thyroid cancer?

Updated: Jun 24, 2020
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Answer

Thyroid cancer in the pediatric population is relatively rare, accounting for 1.5-3% of all carcinomas in the United States and Europe. Features of pediatric thyroid cancers are as follows:

  • Papillary differentiated thyroid cancer is the most common variant found in children.
  • Age, family history, and previous radiation exposure are all indicators for increased risk of disease
  • Tumor volume tends to be larger in patients under 20 years of age than in the adult cohort
  • Early involvement of the capsular and surrounding tissue along with multi-centricity are more common
  • Regional and distant metastases are more common in children, with the lung being the site of highest prevalence
  • A greater expression of the sodium-iodide transporter (NIS) makes the pediatric population more responsive to radioiodine treatment

Children tend to have a recurrence rate of around 40%, which is higher than the adult population; however, long-term survival rate is higher. Pediatric patients tend to have a 5-year survival rate of 99.3% and a 10-year survival rate of 98.5% [12] .


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