Yemeni boy is 2nd youngest in India to undergo thyroid cancer surgery

Mumbai, March 5 (IANS) An 8-year-old boy from Yemen has become the second youngest child in India to successfully undergo surgery for a rare papillary thyroid cancer, said Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre on Tuesday.

While papillary thyroid cancer is the most common type of thyroid cancer among people aged between 30 and 50, it is rare in children.

The boy, Mazen, was presented at the hospital in January with a 4×4 cm swelling in the front and left side of the neck that he had for three months.

Doctors in Yemen initially suspected it to be a common lymphatic swelling, but thorough investigations revealed thyroid cancer.

A team of experts at Jaslok repeated the ultrasound of the neck and biopsy of the lesion as the diagnosis of thyroid cancer at this young age was very rare, they said in a statement, noting it may be indicative of other medical problems like diseases of the adrenal glands, pancreatic pathology, or parathyroid gland pathology.

A series of blood tests and a PET CT scan was also conducted to rule out any distant spread in the body.

The team then opted for a surgery that was challenging, due to age and small neck size, posing a higher risk of injury to vital neck structures like the larynx, recurrent nerve and parathyroids.

“An 8-year old boy presented with a complaint of swelling in the anterior side of neck for three months, which gradually increased in size. There was no pain or any other constitutional symptoms. Only accompanying symptom was the presence of an enlarged right cervical lymph node,” Dr. Fazal Nabi, Director of Paediatrics, at the hospital, in a statement.

“Investigations showed the presence of papillary carcinoma of thyroid which was later confirmed on biopsy. A PET scan showed enlarged cervical lymph nodes and thyroid swelling. He was operated for total thyroidectomy. He was discharged on oral calcium and vitamin D,” he added.

The surgery was successful and the boy was discharged on the third day, the hospital said.

“Papillary carcinoma of thyroid in children is rare with an incidence of 0.54 per 1,00,000 children and requires intensive management of calcium and vitamin D levels in the body for optimum outcomes,” Dr. Fazal said.

The patient will now need further radioactive iodine ablation to complete his treatment.

“Mazen is doing extremely well and I am so delighted to see him back to his normal life,” said Samad Zaid, father of the child, thanking the doctors.



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