Thyroid cancer in childhood

R. Doci, S. Pilotti, A. Costa, G. Semeraro, N. Cascinelli

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From 1956 to 1975, 21 patients (13 females and 8 males) who had developed thyroid cancer by the age of 14 were observed at the Istituto Nazionale Tumori of Milan. Follicular adenocarcinoma was diagnosed in 4 cases and papillary adenocarcinoma in 17. Five patients (24%) had been given previous cervical irradiation for benign conditions. At admission, lung metastases were evident in 2 patients (1 affected by follicular and the other by papillary adenocarcinoma). All patients were submitted to surgical treatment, which in most cases consisted of total thyroidectomy plus elective lymph node dissection; serious postoperative complications were not observed. External irradiation was given to 4 patients, since surgery had not been radical. Radioiodine treatment was performed in the 2 patients with lung metastases: in the patient with follicular adenocarcinoma metastases disappeared after 131I treatment, whereas in the other 1 they still persist unmodified 10 yr later. A local recurrence occurred in 3 cases and pulmonary metastases in 1: all of them made an apparent recovery after surgical and/or radioiodine treatment. All patients are alive and, except 1, without evidence of disease after a follow-up period from 14 mth to 21 yr. Although differences in evolution have been noted according to the histotype, the prognosis of thyroid cancer in childhood is good, even if advanced metastases are present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-657
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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