Symptoms and Signs of Thyroid Tumors in Children

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Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Thyroid Tumors in Children

Thyroid tumors are abnormal growths of thyroid cells, more common in girls and children aged 15-19 years; they may be benign adenomas or carcinomas (cancer). Signs and symptoms of thyroid tumors in children may include a lump in the neck or a lump near the collar bone that does not hurt, trouble breathing and/or swallowing, hoarseness or a change in voice. Hyperthyroidism (irregular heartbeats, shakiness, weight loss, sweating, trouble sleeping and frequent bowel movements) may occur if a thyroid tumor makes and secretes excessive thyroid hormone. Adenomas may grow very large; some may become malignant.

The causes of thyroid tumors in children are unclear. However, radiation of the thyroid and several genetic syndromes (for example, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A syndrome and Werner syndrome) are considered risk factors for development of thyroid tumors in children.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.