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Thyroid Cancer in Children of Eastern Anatolia



Introduction: The incidence of thyroid cancer has been increasing in recent years. In this study, the clinical and laboratory findings of 14 patients with thyroid cancer were analysed retrospectively. They were admitted to our clinic with complaints of swelling of the neck.

Methods: This study was performed in the Paediatric Endocrinology Polyclinics of Ataturk University Faculty of Medicine between 2008 and 2013. Patients with a diagnosis of thyroid cancer/hyperplasia were included. Patients’ age and gender, a family history of goitre and thyroid cancer, and exposure to radiation were elicited. Free thyroxine (T4), thyroid stimulating hormone, thyroglobulin and urinary iodine levels were measured. Ultrasonographic characteristics of nodules were determined. Fine-needle aspiration biopsy was performed if nodules were ≥ 10 mm in diameter.

Results: The number of males and females was equal. There was no history of neck radiation. Grade 4 and grade 3 goitres were detected in four (28.5%) and 10 (71.4%) of 14 patients, respectively. The use of rock and iodized salt was determined in nine (64.2%) and three (21.4%) patients, respectively, while two (14.2%) patients have been using both forms of salt. According to biopsy findings, benign thyroid tissue was present in three (21.4%) patients, while papillary cancer, follicular carcinoma and hyperplasia were determined in six (42.8%), three (21.4%) and five (35.7%) patients, respectively.

Conclusion: Even if the biopsy findings are normal, surgery must be done in the presence of a history of bleeding in a nodule, fixation of a nodule and cervical lymphadenopathy. Iodine deficiency is an important risk factor for thyroid cancer. People should be informed about iodine deficiency and iodized products should be provided to those who live in areas with endemic iodine deficiency. 

June 23, 2014
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