Thyroid cancer is very rare in children. It also has a very high cure rate and most children who have it go on to live a full and normal life.
The two most common types of thyroid cancer are papillary thyroid cancer and follicular thyroid cancer. These are both what is known as ‘differentiated’ thyroid cancer. ’Differentiated‘ means the cancer cells have similar features to normal thyroid cells. The most common type of thyroid cancer in children is papillary thyroid cancer.
How common is thyroid cancer?
On average in the UK, there are ten cases of thyroid cancer in children and young people each year. There is some evidence to suggest that thyroid cancer is becoming more common in the young.
Medullary thyroid cancer is a rare type of cancer that can run in families. There is a 50% chance of a child of an affected parent inheriting the faulty gene. Families with a history of medullary thyroid cancer should be referred to one of the UK’s genetic counselling centres. For further information about medullary thyroid cancer visit the patient support group AMEND.