Thyroid UK
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Thyroid Cancer in children

My precious little angel was diagnosed with cancer of the thyroid after complaining of soar throat at the tender age of 7 and shook my world, she had to undergo an emergency operation in the USA to remove it, but had spread to her chest, went through a series of chemotherapy and now she on thyroid medication for the rest of her life, she turned 18 last Dec. I still cry sometimes at night when I think about it and don't know how I'm gonna get over it, I don't let her see me but the mere thought of of it and the waterworks opens up.

I want to know why and how can someone that young get or develop thyroid cancer and is this normal? How is it going to affect her later in life? Can and will she be able to live a normal life?

7 Replies

Poor you. The shock of finding that must have been indescribable.

My sister in law had thyroid cancer when she was 20 (40+years ago) so not nearly as young as your daughter but not that old either and it was discovered while she was breast feeding a new baby.

She was operated on had chemo etc and is still living the most marvellous life. She has two grown up kids, grandchildren. She did a university degree as her kids grew up, then she taught full time, she has always been super active. Competitive swimming, hill walking, rock climbing, mountain biking, sailing, yoga - you name it, she's done it, they have travelled all round the world. She just comes home, stocks up on her thyroid meds and off they go.

If she does half as well as my sister in law, your daughter will have a great future.


Thank you for the positive reply, I just could not understand how someone that young could have cancer, with no cancer history in the family


I know, it must be such a shocking thing to discover your child has something like that. I don't think there is any reason, unfortunately things like that just happen.

Rebec, you're right, so many people have obstacles in their lives. I hope your grandson does really well with his insulin pump. I used to go to Cub Scout camps and although they had a cook I cooked for my family and a young lad who was diabetic, he was injecting himself and the cook didn't seem to realise that if she said his meal would be ready in half an hour then he needed it at that time, because I was only cooking for four (and because I realised that he wasn't just being greedy wanting his food at a certain time!) I took over and fed him too. This boy went on to become a teacher, he was in our Scout group, was a competitive swimmer and a really keen canoeist, so I'm sure your grandson can grow into a strong young man with a great future too.


I can understand your worries, but I'm sure that the operation she had to have at such a young age will make her stronger in the long run and she will end up taking better care of her health than other young people.

My son discovered that one of his children had diabetes at the age of 6. The little boy has been fitted now (in the States) with a pump that delivers the insulin without the need of daily injections but my son told me that it's a daily worry, that the teachers have to be told and need to keep an eye on him.

But I hope that with the proper medication, he'll grow into a strong young man and enjoy life to the full. I'm writing all this to you in order for you to see other problems some children (together with their parents) might have growing up.

I'm sure you'll see her having babies when the time come, and yourself turning into a grandmother!


Thank you, I look forward to being a grandfather :-)


My thoughts are with you and I send hugs as well. My daughter did not have thyroid cancer but Addison's, hypothyroidism, kyphosis and scoliosis (corrected through spinal fusion and instrumentation) from birth and then at 17 anorexia due to the fact that she could not maintain her weight as a result of being hypo. There have been many times that I have not known whether or not she would make it through. So I know your worries about leading a normal life despite health issues. She is now 21 and life is hard but all that has happened has made her really strong, compassionate, empathetic and quite amazing. I try to laugh about all the issues, because if I don't I will cry constantly. Your daughter is obviously an amazing young women, and the strength she has , and a beautiful mum, will ensure she has a wonderful life ahead. From my knowledge, most people who are medicated correctly live completely normal lives, it is the people who are not diagnosed that have problems. Health and happiness to you, your daughter and all your family.


Thank you, I wish you and your family good health and happiness to


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