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Cancer. 1986 Aug 1;58(3):715-9.

Occult papillary carcinoma of the thyroid in children and young adults. A systemic autopsy study in Finland.


The thyroids from 93 autopsies performed on children and young adults younger than age 40 years, were subserially sectioned at 2- to 3-mm intervals. Thirteen thyroids revealed 17 foci of occult papillary carcinoma (OPC), giving a prevalence rate of 14%. The youngest affected patient was a boy aged 18 years. The prevalence rate of individuals between age 18 and 40 years was 27%. The rate appears to be rather constant in adults, although there may be a slight rise in middle age. The prevalence rate was higher for males, but no statistically significant difference was seen. The arise of OPCs after puberty would favor the view that hormonal factors are related to their appearance.

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