HealthDay News — From 1973 to 2013, there was an increase in the incidence rates of pediatric thyroid cancer, with marked increases from 2006 to 2013, according to a study published online May 23 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Z. Jason Qian, MD, from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues analyzed trends in pediatric thyroid cancer incidence for 1806 patients aged younger than 20 years.

The researchers found that from 1973 to 2013, there was an increase in the overall incidence rates of thyroid cancer, from 0.48 to 1.14 per 100,000 person-years. The incidence rates increased gradually from 1973 to 2006 (annual percent change [APC], 1.11%) and then increased sharply from 2006 to 2013 (APC, 9.56%). From 1983 to 2006, there was a gradual increase in the incidence rates of large tumors (>20 mm; APC, 2.23%), followed by a marked increase from 2006 to 2013 (APC, 8.84%). These rates did not differ significantly from those of small tumors (1 to 20 mm). From 1973 to 2006, there was a gradual increase in the incidence rates of regionally extended thyroid cancer (APC, 1.44%), followed by a marked increase from 2006 to 2013 (APC, 11.16%).

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“The similar marked increases in the incidence rates of large tumors and advanced-stage disease suggest a true increase in the occurrence of pediatric thyroid cancer,” the authors write.

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