Pediatric Thymus Tumors
Thyroid conditions are very rare in children, but at times require surgical management. Thyroid nodules should be evaluated to ensure advanced thyroid carcinoma does not develop. Often, fine needle aspiration biopsy can exclude the need for more serious surgery. In rare cases, thyroid cancer is present, requiring surgical removal of the thyroid gland.
The parathyroid glands are structures about the size of rice grains located behind the thyroid gland. They secrete parathyroid hormone, which regulates calcium level in the blood stream. Rarely, children can have increased calcium levels related to an overactive parathyroid gland. Children with recurrent kidney stones, or those in whom elevated calcium levels are discovered should be evaluated for hyperparathyroidism. Hyperparathyroidism is managed quite effectively by surgically removing the offending parathyroid gland.
There are many types of tumors, benign and malignant, that can form in a child’s neck. Treatment requires some combination of biopsy, resection, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy. These include:
- large but benign teratomas present at birth
- Thyroid tumors
- Tumors of the salivary glands