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: 5/23/2018 2:50:06 PM


Upcoming Events

Camp UOTS

Camp U.O.T.S. is an annual weeklong, overnight camp for children with cancer and blood disorders who are treated at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

Learn more and register

From the Newsdesk

Siblings of Cancer Patients enjoy a Fun Filled Day
More than two dozen children attended the Bear Hug camp at Nicklaus Children's last week. This day camp is for siblings of pediatric cancer patients to encourage socialization among peers and help them gain insight on their siblings' care journey. 
Daniella Celebrates her Ninth Birthday by Advocating for Children’s Health
On this very same day nine years ago, Daniella Alvarez was diagnosed Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor (ATRT), a rare and aggressive type of brain cancer. The news came on June 26, 2009, her second birthday. Daniella endured years of brain surgeries, aggressive chemotherapies, radiation, imaging scans, multiple visits to intensive care at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. She is now cancer free thanks to a pediatric clinical trial made possible through research funding.

Video

video
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.