Thyroid nodules and cancers in children

Josefson, J.; Zimmerman, D.

Pediatr Endocrinol Rev. 2008 Sep 23; 6(1):14-23


The incidence of thyroid nodules in children is estimated to be 1 to 1.5% based on clinical examination. Children with thyroid nodules, compared to adults with thyroid nodules, have a fourfold greater risk of developing malignant thyroid disease. Differentiated thyroid carcinoma is the most common pediatric endocrine tumor, constituting 0.5-3% of all childhood malignancies. The thyroid is one of the most frequent sites of secondary neoplasm in children who receive radiation therapy for other malignancies. Thyroid carcinoma has been studied extensively in adults. However, the pediatric literature on this subject is much less complete, owing to the rarity of its diagnosis. This article reviews the predisposing factors, genetics, pathology, pathogenesis , clinical presentation, detailed treatment and follow-up management of children with thyroid carcinoma. Additionally, a discussion regarding the controversial aspects of radioiodine therapy in children is included.

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