Medullary Thyroid Cancer

Medullary Thyroid Cancer is a medical condition, in which the thyroid gland produces large amounts of a hormone called ”calcitonin”, produced by specific thyroid cells. Because Medullary thyroid cancers may also create other hormones, they may result in unusual symptoms.

Medullary thyroid cancer tends to metastasize (spread) through the lymphatic system to thenode and through the bloodstream to the bones, Medullary Thyroid Cancer Diseaselungs, and liver. This cancer may progress together with other endocrine cancers types, known as multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome.

Treatment  consists of complete thyroid gland removal. In addition, surgery may be required, so that the doctor may define whether the medullary thyroid cancer has spread to the lymph node.  More than 2/3 of the individuals, whose medullary thyroid cancer is multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome’s part, survive for at least ten more years.

When this cancer occurs alone, the survival chance is not as good. Because medullary thyroid cancer in some cases occurs in families, the person’s close blood relatives must be screened for genetic defects that may be detected in blood cells.  If the thyroid screening test results are negative, the relative is not likely to progress a medullary thyroid cancer. If the screening result is positive, the relative has or will progress such cancer and thyroid surgery must be considered even before blood calcitonin level become higher or before symptoms develop.

Excessive rise in the calcitonin level or high blood calcitonin following stimulation test also helps doctors determine whether a person has or will develop medullary thyroid cancer. Discovering an abnormally high calcitonin level will lead a physician to consider removing the thyroid gland, since treatment at early stages of the disease gives the best chance for recovery.

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