Thyroid Cancer (cont.)
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What are the different types of thyroid cancer?
There are several types of thyroid cancer:
Medullary thyroid cancer sometimes runs in families.
A change in a gene called RET can be passed from parent to child. Nearly everyone with a changed RET gene develops medullary thyroid cancer. The disease occurs alone, as familial medullary thyroid cancer, or with other cancers, as multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndrome.
A blood test can usually detect a changed RET gene. If it's found in a person with medullary thyroid cancer, the doctor may suggest that family members also be tested. For those who have a changed gene, the doctor may recommend frequent lab tests or surgery to remove the thyroid before cancer develops.
Tests and treatment options depend on the type of thyroid cancer.
Reviewed on 5/7/2012
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