Medullary carcinoma of the thyroid is cancer of the thyroid gland that starts in cells that release a hormone called calcitonin. These cells are called "C" cells. The thyroid gland is located inside the front of your lower neck.
Thyroid - medullary carcinoma; Cancer - thyroid (medullary carcinoma); MTC; Thyroid nodule - medullary
The cause of medullary carcinoma of the thyroid (MTC) is unknown. MTC is very rare. It can occur in children and adults.
Unlike other types of thyroid cancer, MTC is less likely to be caused by radiation therapy to the neck given to treat other cancers during childhood.
There are two forms of MTC:
You have an increased risk for this type of cancer if you have:
Other types of thyroid cancer include:
MTC often begins as a small lump (nodule) in the thyroid gland. There also may be lymph node swelling in the neck. As a result, symptoms may include:
Treatment involves surgery to remove the thyroid gland and surrounding lymph nodes. Because this is an uncommon tumor, surgery should be performed by a surgeon who is familiar with this type of cancer and experienced with the operation required.
Further treatment will depend on your calcitonin levels. A rise in calcitonin levels again may indicate new growth of the cancer.
Near relatives of persons diagnosed with hereditary forms of MTC are at increased risk of this cancer and should discuss with their providers.
Steven Waguespack is an Endocrinologist and a Pediatrics doctor in Houston, Texas. Dr. Waguespack has been practicing medicine for over 28 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma. He is also highly rated in 26 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Thyroid Cancer, Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma, Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer, and Papillary Thyroid Cancer. He is licensed to treat patients in Texas. Dr. Waguespack is currently accepting new patients.
Mark Zafereo is an Otolaryngologist and a General Surgeon in Houston, Texas. Dr. Zafereo has been practicing medicine for over 17 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma. He is also highly rated in 22 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Thyroid Cancer, Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer, Papillary Thyroid Cancer, and Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma. He is licensed to treat patients in Texas. Dr. Zafereo is currently accepting new patients.
Vivek Subbiah is a Pediatrics specialist and a Pediatric Hematologist Oncology doctor in Houston, Texas. Dr. Subbiah has been practicing medicine for over 20 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma. He is also highly rated in 51 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma, Thyroid Cancer, Adult Soft Tissue Sarcoma, and Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer. He is licensed to treat patients in Texas. Dr. Subbiah is currently accepting new patients.
You can ease the stress of illness by joining a cancer support group. Sharing with others who have common experiences and problems can help you not feel alone.
Most people with MTC live at least 5 years after diagnosis, depending upon the stage of the cancer. The 10-year survival rate is 65%.
Complications may include:
Call your provider if you have symptoms of MTC.
Prevention may not be possible. But, being aware of your risk factors, especially your family history, may allow for early diagnosis and treatment. For people who have a very strong family history of MTC, the option to remove the thyroid gland may be recommended. You should carefully discuss this option with a doctor who is very familiar with the disease.
Published Date : January 21, 2020
Published By : Robert Hurd, MD, Professor of Endocrinology and Health Care Ethics, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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National Cancer Institute website. Thyroid cancer treatment (adult) (PDQ) - health professional version. www.cancer.gov/types/thyroid/hp/thyroid-treatment-pdq. Updated January 30, 2020. Accessed March 6, 2020.
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