Thyroid cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the United States. It is being diagnosed more and more in younger patients.
Previous data showed that the age group seeing the largest increase was white, teenage girls. However, recently a new study discovered that the increase crosses all genders and races.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the throat. It has two lobes joined in the middle by a strip of tissue. The thyroid secretes three main hormones, all of which have an important role in a child’s growth.
Thyroid cancer is a solid tumor malignancy and is the most common endocrine malignancy in children. Surgery tends to be the preferred treatment for this cancer.
According to doctors, thyroid cancer in kids under 10 is rare, about 5 cases per every million, but at age 15 the statistic jump to 18 per million.
Thyroid cancer in adolescents is similar to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Since this cancer has few early symptoms, it is especially important that parents know what to look out fo
Kids often don’t experience pain or weight lost.
Unfortunately, experts believe that parents aren’t aware that thyroid cancer can and does strike kids.
It is important that parents check kids for swelling or lumps in the neck. Routine check-ups should not be skipped, because there doctors will examine neck glands.
With an early diagnosis and treatment, kids have a 95% chance of surviving thyroid cancer.
Although blood tests or ultrasounds can sometimes detect changes in the thyroid, experts do not recommend those methods unless the physical exam is abnormal or a patient is at high risk, possibly due to family history of thyroid cancer.
Experts are currently unsure as to why there has been an increase in thyroid cancer, but they believe that previous exposure to radiation is a risk factor.