Thyroid cancer is the third most common solid tumor in teens and young adults. However, only 5 percent of all diagnoses occur in children and teens; the majority of patients are 45 years of age or older.
Most patients with thyroid cancer – regardless of age – have positive outcomes, with nearly 98 percent surviving at least five years after diagnosis. This is due in part to a wide variety of effective treatments, the most common of which is surgery. While working with an experienced surgeon can be beneficial for all patients, it is especially important for teenagers and young adults to see a surgeon who has specific experience in treating pediatric and adolescent patients. That’s because younger patients often have significant tumor spread at the time of their diagnosis; as a result, two or more surgeries may be needed to remove all of the cancer cells from the body. Working with a specialized surgeon can increase the chance that an entire tumor will be removed during the first surgery, which in turn can decrease the likelihood that follow-up surgery will be needed.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we see a high volume of teenage and young adult patients every year, and our surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurses and other medical professionals have extensive expertise in treating patients in this age group. And, as part of our comprehensive approach to cancer treatment, we’ve develop an Adolescent and Young Adult Program to offer specialized support with:
- Emotional challenges, such as feelings of depression and isolation
- Social challenges, such as telling friends about the cancer diagnosis
- Physical side effects, such as fatigue and weight loss
Additionally, we are committed to developing more effective thyroid cancer treatments through clinical trials, a number of which are open to teenagers and young adult patients. Through these studies, patients receive careful monitoring from a team of expert oncologists and researchers, while benefitting from the latest and most promising therapeutic options for thyroid cancer.
To learn more about our multifaceted approach to treating thyroid cancer in teens and young adults, contact Moffitt Cancer Center. We don’t require referrals; call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online.