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Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma

Medullary thyroid carcinoma is the third most common type of thyroid cancer, behind papillary thyroid carcinoma and follicular carcinoma. It accounts for 4 percent to 9 percent of all thyroid cancers.

Types

There are two types of medullary thyroid carcinoma:

  • Familial, which accounts for 20 percent to 25 percent of medullary cancers. The familial type involves a history of first-degree relatives having other endocrine malignancies.
  • Sporadic, which accounts for the other 75 percent to 80 percent of thyroid cancers.

Treatment

The treatment for medullary thyroid carcinoma involves a total thyroidectomy. This tumor often spreads to lymph nodes, and dissection of the neck lymph nodes is generally performed.

Patients are followed with frequent monitoring of serum calcitonin levels to detect recurrence.

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