There are many unanswered questions about the prevalence and treatment of thyroid cancer in children.
Gary L. Francis, M.D., Ph.D, professor of pediatrics and chief of the division of pediatric endocrinology and metabolism at Virginia Commonwealth University, will offer data and present answers on "Differentiated and Medullary Thyroid Cancer in Children," Saturday, January 24, 2009 12:30 p.m. to 1:20 p.m. in the Crown Conch Room, 3rd level, at the American Thyroid Association's National Thyroid Cancer Workshop II to be held January 23 - 24, 2009 at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida.
"Despite an enormous thyroid disease burden among adults, the prevalence of many of these thyroid disorders are unknown during childhood," said Dr. Francis.
Among those questions are: How common are thyroid nodules in children? What is the role of iodine deficiency? What is the risk of malignancy in a single thyroid nodule in a young person?
There is known data. For example, estimates are that 10 percent of children in the U.S. are iodine deficient. Also, iodine deficiency is known to increase the risk for thyroid nodules in children, as data from Poland shows following the suspension of iodine supplementation there.
The prevalence of thyroid nodules in children is great after radiation exposure, as data from post-Chernobyl and data from the American southwest after nuclear testing in past decades has shown.
Dr. Francis, who has spent his career studying childhood thyroid cancer, will offer guidelines on diagnosing and treating childhood thyroid cancer.