Texas Children's Hospital launches pediatric Thyroid Tumor Program


HOUSTON - (June 29, 2015) - Texas Children's Hospital announces the formation of a new pediatric Thyroid Tumor Program dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of children and young adults with thyroid tumors, cancer and diseases. For more information about the program, visit texaschildrens.org/thyroid-tumor-program.

Approximately 2 percent of children develop solitary thyroid nodules - lumps which can grow on an otherwise normal thyroid gland. Most of these are benign, but a few are malignant and can develop into thyroid cancer. Although thyroid tumors in children are rare, they are being diagnosed with increased frequency. The Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program estimates 1,200 children will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the U.S. this year.

"Thyroid tumors in children are especially challenging for many children's hospitals, as specialized expertise is often not available and many pediatricians and surgeons have limited experience with them," says Dr. Jake Kushner, chief of pediatric diabetes and endocrinology at Texas Children's and associate professor, pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. "Our goal is to ensure that children with thyroid tumors have the highest possible level of care to improve their quality of life, and ultimately, to increase the odds of survivorship."

This is why receiving care at a dedicated pediatric hospital is critical. It provides vital access to a comprehensive spectrum of pediatric specialists.

"Our Thyroid Tumor Program combines the expertise and skills of a dedicated team of pediatric specialists in surgery, endocrinology, pathology, radiology, nuclear medicine, oncology, psychology and nursing to give every child with a thyroid tumor state-of-the-art care," says Dr. David Wesson, associate surgeon-in-chief at Texas Children's and professor of surgery at Baylor.

Led by Dr. Ioanna Athanassaki, pediatric endocrinologist, and Dr. Monica Lopez, pediatric surgeon, the Thyroid Tumor Program at Texas Children's strives to provide best-in-class care and will remain dedicated to tracking patient outcomes to refine and improve management of patients with these diseases.

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Center for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, a second community hospital planned to open in 2017. The organization also created the nation’s first HMO for children, has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.