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Eur J Cancer. 2006 Sep;42(13):2150-69.

Thyroid cancer incidence and survival among European children and adolescents (1978-1997): report from the Automated Childhood Cancer Information System project.

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Descriptive Epidemiology Group, International Agency for Research on Cancer, 150 cours Albert Thomas, 69372 Lyon Cedex 08, France.


Data on 1690 childhood and adolescent cases of thyroid cancer registered in 61 European cancer registries were extracted from the database of the Automated Childhood Cancer Information System (ACCIS) and included in analyses of incidence and survival. In 1988-1997, the age-standardised incidence rates (ASR) for children aged 0-14 years varied in European regions from 0.5 to 1.2 per million and the age-specific incidence in adolescents aged 15-19 years ranged from 4.4 to 11.0 per million. Over the age-span 0-19 years, the female to male ratio increased from 1 to around 3. Papillary thyroid cancer accounted for almost 65% of cases in children and 77% in adolescents. In the childhood population of Belarus, the ASR for 1989-1997 was 23.6 per million and the proportion of papillary tumours was 87%. No association was found between thyroid cancer risk and national dietary iodine status across 16 countries. Incidence of thyroid carcinoma among children and adolescents in Europe (excluding Belarus) increased during 1978-1997 by 3% per year, largely due to papillary carcinoma. Survival of children and adolescents was high over the entire study period and in all regions of Europe. Children with medullary carcinoma had slightly lower 5-year survival (95%, 95% CI 81-99), than those with papillary carcinoma (99%, 95% CI 95-100). More than 90% of patients survived 20 years after diagnosis. Further standardisation of diagnostic, classification and registration criteria will be fundamental for future studies of thyroid carcinomas in young people.

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