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Thyroid Cancer

Almost one third of all new thyroid cancers diagnosed are in young adults ages 20 to 40 and thyroid carcinomas represent approximately 6-12% of all malignancies diagnosed in this age group. Thyroid carcinomas are 5 times more common in females than males among 20 to 40 year olds, accounting for 4% of all cancers in women. Thyroid cancer is also one of the most common malignancies to occur during pregnancy and therefore it is imperative to assess the treatment and management of such cases individually with possible delay in surgery and radioactive iodine therapy. Overall survival rates are exceptional with 5-year survival rates for individuals diagnosed before the age of 40 above 99%. Future research will hopefully shed light to understanding the long-term and potentially adverse effects of different thyroid treatment therapies as well as their effects on reproduction, which may impact the survivorship of this community.

Source: Ying A, Huh W, Bottomley S, et al. Thyroid Cancer in Young Adults. Semin Oncol. 2009; 36:258-274.

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AYA patients are less likely to enroll in clinical trials than children or adults due to inadequate health insurance, lack of referrals and many clinicians don’t know of AYA trials. AYA participation is crucial to finding effective therapies. Many comprehensive cancer centers, university med centers, and pediatric centers- support AYA trials.

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