Medullary thyroid cancer
Also known as: medullary carcinoma, medullary carcinoma of the thyroid gland, MTC
What is a medullary thyroid cancer?
The thyroid is a midline endocrine gland ( secretes hormones ) found at the base of the neck. Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is a form of cancer that originates in a particular cell in the thyroid gland. This particular cell secretes a hormone ( calcitonin ) that plays an important role regulating calcium levels in the body. It occurs much more commonly in girls.
What causes medullary thyroid cancer?
MTC is caused by a spontaneous or inherited ( runs in families ) change in a specific gene that allows the cells to grow without any control. Medullary thyroid cancer is usually found in children who have tumors of other endocrine tissues ( multiple endocrine neoplasia ).
What are the signs/symptoms of medullary thyroid cancer?
Signs/symptoms include a lump in, or an enlarged thyroid gland ( goiter ), hoarseness, difficulty breathing, and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck.
What are medullary thyroid cancer care options?
Surgery to remove part or all of the thyroid is usually recommended ( with or without removing the neck lymph nodes ). Radioactive iodine, radiation and/or chemotherapy may be required.
Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP
This page was last updated on: 10/31/2017 11:54:40 AM
From the Newsdesk
Meet our July Patient of the Month, Lacy. Lacy was only 2 years old when her parents noticed that something was wrong. They took her to various doctors to try to find what could be the cause, Lacy had an 8 cm. tumor in her brain, occupying most of the lower part of her head.
At a young age, Bi’Yanie was diagnosed with sickle cell, a blood disorder that causes the cells to take on a crescent or sickle shape and can lead to very painful episodes called crises. Today, Bi’Yanie is getting stronger by the day, thanks to the bone marrow transplant she received at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.