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March 1963

Thyroid Carcinoma in Children: A Plea for Conservation of Functions

Author Affiliations

W. F. Pollock, M.D., Suite 222, 2200 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, Calif.

Am J Dis Child. 1963;105(3):243-248. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080040245003

Within the last 20 years there has been a definite increase in the incidence of thyroid carcinoma.8,12,15 Both an absolute increase in numbers of cases and a relative increase in comparison with other forms of thyroid disease have been observed. Better diagnostic techniques and their wider usage have undoubtedly contributed to this increase. Some authors believe that we are now discovering the long-term consequences of using radiation to the neck of young children.3,6,14,15 It is also possible that more children with abnormalities of the branchial cleft derivatives are now surviving to adolescence, where the growth disturbances become apparent as neoplasms. Simultaneously, the relative importance of cancer as a cause of death in children has increased. The discovery and wide use of powerful antimicrobial agents has reduced deaths from respiratory diseases to their present third position. Cancer has now become the second commonest cause of death in childhood, exceeded

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