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Medullary thyroid cancer is a cancer of the thyroid gland. It is the most common tumour caused by MEN2. The thyroid is a small gland in the front of the neck, just below the voice box.
The symptoms of medullary thyroid cancer include:
The parathyroid glands are located just behind the thyroid gland, infront of the neck. If you have MEN2A, the parathyroid glands may become large and overactive (hyperparathyroidism). This mostly happens from ages 20 to 40.Parathyroid glands produce a hormone called parathyroid hormone (PTH) which helps to control the body’s calcium levels. People with overactive parathyroid glands may make too much PTH, which can result in high levels of calcium in the blood.This can make you:
The high levels of PTH can also cause bones to become weaker and more prone to fracture. High calcium levels can also affect the kidney, possibly leading to the development of kidney stones and kidney damage, which can be avoided if you are diagnosed and seek treatment early.
Phaeochromocytoma (PCC) is a tumour of the adrenal glands, the small glands above the kidneys. It is usually noncancerous.People with MEN2A or MEN2B can develop PCC, and one or both of the adrenal glands may be affected. PCC can cause the adrenal gland to make large amounts of hormones such as adrenaline (epinephrine) and adrenaline-like hormones.Adrenaline regulates the heart rate and blood pressure, and too much of it can cause symptoms such as:
All patients with medullary thyroid cancer, phaeochromocytoma or paraganglioma diagnosis are recommended to have genetic testing.