Follicle-derived thyroid cancer is rare in the young. The authors examined a population with a low rate of radiation exposure and who were treated at a single institution. The records of 56 patients diagnosed before the age of 25 years were analyzed. The majority of patients presented with an asymptomatic thyroid mass. All patients were treated surgically and half received postoperative ablation with 131 I. Recurrent disease was detected in 29%. The presence of local metastases at initial surgery was a predictor of recurrence. No patient presented with distant metastases and no patient died of thyroid cancer. Although radiation, exposure remains a risk factor for thyroid cancer in the young, only a minority of patients with thyroid cancer have a known history of exposure. Patients who are diagnosed at a young age have a high rate of long-term recurrence, and should be followed closely throughout their lives.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health