Texas Children’s Hospital launches pediatric Thyroid Tumor Program

Texas Children’s Hospital recently formed a new pediatric Thyroid Tumor Program dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of children and young adults with thyroid tumors, cancer and diseases.

Approximately 2 percent of children develop solitary thyroid nodules – lumps which can grow on an otherwise normal thyroid gland. Most of these are benign, but a few are malignant and can develop into thyroid cancer. Although thyroid tumors in children are rare, they are being diagnosed with increased frequency. The Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program estimates 1,200 children will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the U.S. this year.

“Thyroid tumors in children are especially challenging for many children’s hospitals, as specialized expertise is often not available and many pediatricians and surgeons have limited experience with them,” says Dr. Jake Kushner, chief of pediatric diabetes and endocrinology. “Our goal is to ensure that children with thyroid tumors have the highest possible level of care to improve their quality of life, and ultimately, to increase the odds of survivorship.”

This is why receiving care at a dedicated pediatric hospital is critical. It provides vital access to a comprehensive spectrum of pediatric specialists.

“Our Thyroid Tumor Program combines the expertise and skills of a dedicated team of pediatric specialists in surgery, endocrinology, pathology, radiology, nuclear medicine, oncology, psychology and nursing to give every child with a thyroid tumor state-of-the-art care,” says Dr. David Wesson, associate surgeon-in-chief.

Led by Dr. Loanna Athanassaki, pediatric endocrinologist, and Dr. Monica Lopez, pediatric surgeon, the Thyroid Tumor Program strives to provide best-in-class care and will remain dedicated to tracking patient outcomes to refine and improve management of patients with these diseases.

For more information about the program, visit http://www.texaschildrens.org/thyroid-tumor-program/