Medullary thyroid cancer (patient information)

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Medullary thyroid cancer

Overview

What are the symptoms?

What are the causes?

Who is at highest risk?

Diagnosis

When to seek urgent medical care?

Treatment options

Where to find medical care for Medullary thyroid cancer?

Prevention

What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

Possible complications

Follicular thyroid cancer On the Web

Ongoing Trials at Clinical Trials.gov

Images of Medullary thyroid cancer

Videos on Medullary thyroid cancer

FDA on Medullary thyroid cancer

CDC on Medullary thyroid cancer

Medullary thyroid cancer in the news

Blogs on Follicular thyroid cancer

Directions to Hospitals Treating Medullary thyroid cancer

Risk calculators and risk factors for Medullary thyroid cancer


Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Ammu Susheela, M.D. [2]

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Overview

Thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck which makes hormones to help the bodywork normally. Medullary thyroid cancer is cancer that starts in the thyroid gland. Medullary thyroid cancer doesn't have any early symptoms. With the development of the cancer, usual symptoms include a lump that can be felt through the skin on your neck, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, pain in the neck and throat and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, thyroid hormone therapy or a combination of them.

What are the symptoms of Medullary thyroid cancer?

  • Early medullary thyroid cancer does not have any symptoms. As the tumor grows larger, people may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
  • Other health problems may also cause these symptoms. Only a doctor can tell for sure. A person with any of these symptoms should tell the doctor so that the problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

What causes Medullary thyroid cancer?

  • Familial medullary thyroid cancer
  • Sporadic medullary thyroid cancer

Who is at highest risk?

Clinical data have suggested that the development of medullary thyroid cancer is related to several factors.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will perform a physical exam. This may reveal a lump in the thyroid, or swollen lymph nodes in the neck.

The following tests may be done:

When to seek urgent medical care?

Call your health care provider if symptoms of thyroid cancer develop.

Treatment options

In order to diagnose medullary thyroid cancer, your doctor may suggest the following tests:

  • Patients with medullary thyroid cancer have many treatment options. The selection depends on the stage of the tumor. The options are surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, thyroid hormone treatment, or a combination of these methods. Before treatment starts, ask your health care team about possible side effects and how treatment may change your normal activities. Because cancer treatments often damage healthy cells and tissues, side effects are common. Side effects may not be the same for each person, and they may change from one treatment session to the next.

Where to find medical care for Medullary Thyroid Cancer?

Directions to Hospitals Treating thyroid cancer

Prevention of Medullary Thyroid Cancer

The reasons for the development of medullary thyroid cancer are not clear. Epidemiological data show the following may be helpful:

What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

The prognosis of medullary thyroid cancer depends on the following:

Possible complications

Sources

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001213.htm http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/thyroidcancer.html

References



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