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Invited Commentary
May 23, 2019

Pediatric Thyroid Cancer—Are My Kids at Increased Risk?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
  • 3Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 4Department of Otorhinolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 5Division of Thyroid and Parathyroid Endocrine Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 6Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, Department of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019;145(7):624-625. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2019.0896

In the article titled “Pediatric Thyroid Cancer Incidence and Mortality Trends in the United States, 1973-2013” by Qian et al,1 the authors provide a comprehensive review of the literature and conduct a national database analysis, further demonstrating a rising incidence of papillary thyroid cancer in the pediatric population. By way of introduction, Qian et al1 note thyroid cancer has been shown to be the most rapidly increasing cancer in the United States, with studies showing a 3% annual increase in incidence, rising from 4.6 per 100 000 person-years in 1974 to 1977 to 14.4 per 100 000 person-years in 2010 to 2013.2 These rates include all ages, and therefore are heavily influenced by, and representative primarily of, adult patients owing to thyroid cancer being considerably more common in adults compared with children.