Differentiated thyroid carcinoma represents a small percentage of human carcinomas. However, it is the commonest endocrine neoplasm and if diagnosed and treated properly does not affect the long-term survival of the patients.
Aim: The aim was to study differentiated thyroid carcinoma affecting young adults.
Patients and methods: All patients presenting with thyroid carcinoma to the department from 01.01.2002 to 31.12.2008 were reviewed. Amongst this group patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma were selected, in whom the diagnosis was made in the age of 1730 years.
Results: During the aforementioned period 1606 were admitted with thyroid carcinoma, 1510 suffering from differentiated thyroid carcinoma. Within this group 167 (11%) were diagnosed with differentiated thyroid carcinoma in the age of 1730 years. Most of them were women (139 patients, 83%), while only 17% (28 patients) were men. Within this group 148 young adults (89%) had papillary thyroid carcinoma, 14 (8%) had follicular thyroid carcinoma, while in 5 (3%) a coexistence of papillary and follicular thyroid carcinoma was noted. In 51% of the patients the diagnosis was made at the age of 2630 years, in 33% at the age of 2125 years, while in 16% at the age of 1720 years.
Conclusion: Differentiated thyroid carcinoma has been studied extensively in the adulthood and childhood. However, the study of this carcinoma in young adults has not been performed till today. It is quite impressive that young women are preferentially affected by thyroid cancer, a finding which is in agreement with the detection of oestrogen receptors in follicular thyroid cells, as young women have levels of oestrogen that may stimulate follicular thyroid cells and cause their neoplastic transformation.