What Is Medullary Thyroid Cancer?

Q:

What is medullary thyroid cancer?

A:

Medullary thyroid cancer is the third most common type of thyroid cancer, accounting for around 3% of all thyroid cancer cases. About 1/3 of people with the disease have a family history of thyroid cancer, while the other 2/3 do not.

The cancer originates from parafollicular cells which are also called C cells of the thyroid. C cells produce a hormone called calcitonin. Unlike other thyroid hormones which regulate the metabolism, calcitonin is irrelevant to it.

Compared with papillary thyroid and follicular thyroid cancer, medullary thyroid cancer has a much lower cure rate. Yet the rate is higher than that of another type of thyroid cancer, anaplastic thyroid cancer.

People with medullary thyroid cancer should have genetic screening to find out whether the cancer they have is in a hereditary form. It helps to figure out if other family members are at risk of the condition.

 

Keywords: medullary thyroid cancer

 

 

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.