Mariëlle Klein Hesselink: Pediatric differentiated thyroid carcinoma, Diagnosis, outcome and late effects of treatment
The diagnosis of (differentiated) thyroid cancer during childhood is very rare. This variant of thyroid cancer is usually not aggressive, making the survival rate of children with thyroid cancer very favorable. Since most children with thyroid cancer survive their disease, we looked after the long-term effects of its treatment. Long-term effects are adverse consequences of a disease or its treatment.
This research described in the theses of Mariëlle Klein Hesselink and Marloes Nies showed that none of the 170 patients diagnosed with childhood differentiated thyroid cancer had died of their cancer after a follow-up period of 14 years. Medical records of 105 participants showed that one in three patients had a permanent complication of the thyroid surgery, which is part of the treatment of thyroid cancer.
The long-term effects that were examined were patient well-being (quality of life), psychosocial development, heart function, salivary gland function, and male and female fertility. Salivary gland damage was found in almost half of the survivors of pediatric thyroid cancer treated with radioiodine. A form of cardiac damage was found in a substantial part of the survivors. In general, the other long-term effects studied, were limited.