We reviewed the courses of patients treated during childhood or adolescence for thyroid cancer to estimate the frequency of, and to identify possible risk factors for, the occurrence of second malignant tumors in this population.
We identified all patients treated for thyroid cancer in a cohort of 1,406 pediatric cancer patients who were diagnosed prior to 20 years of age during the period January 1, 1960 through December 31, 1988 and who were treated at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Twelve patients were treated for thyroid cancer, of whom nine were women. In situ breast carcinoma was diagnosed 25 and 26 years after diagnosis of thyroid cancer in two of four women treated with radioiodine. No new cancers were diagnosed in the five women treated with thyroidectomy only.
Two of four women treated for thyroid cancer during adolescence with radioiodine, which is concentrated in the breast as well as other organs, developed in situ breast carcinoma. Review of a large cohort of adolescent female thyroid cancer patients treated with radioiodine is necessary to provide an accurate estimate of their risk of developing breast cancer. These patients must remain under medical surveillance throughout their lifetimes to facilitate prompt diagnosis of and early intervention for new conditions, such as the occurrence of breast cancer. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.