Medullary Thyroid Cancer (MTC)

What is Medullary Thyroid Cancer?

Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), also known as C-cell carcinoma, is a very rare type of thyroid cancer that is usually found in the lower part of the thyroid gland. This type of cancer is considered to be a malignant tumor, meaning that it is capable of spreading to other parts of the body such as the lungs or lymph nodes. It usually forms from cells that originate in the thyroid, but it can also occur as a metastasis from other tumors in the body.

Signs and Symptoms of Medullary Thyroid Cancer

The signs and symptoms of Medullary Thyroid Cancer can vary from person to person. However, some of the most common signs and symptoms associated with MTC include:

  • Enlargement of the thyroid gland
  • Lumps in the neck or throat
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Hoarseness or change in voice
  • Coughing up blood
  • Pain in the neck, throat, or chest
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue or difficulty in breathing

Diagnosis and Treatment of Medullary Thyroid Cancer

Medullary thyroid cancer is usually diagnosed through tests such as physical examination, imaging tests (e.g. X-rays or CT scans), biopsy, and blood tests. After diagnosis, the treatment will depend on the stage of the cancer, but it typically includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy. Surgery is usually the primary mode of treating MTC, and the goal is to remove as much of the cancer as possible. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are often used afterwards to help reduce the risk of recurrence.

Prevention and Prognosis of Medullary Thyroid Cancer

The best way to prevent Medullary Thyroid Cancer is to be aware of the risk factors, and to get regular medical check-ups. Risk factors of MTC include having a family history of the disease, having some type of inherited condition such as Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type II, and having been exposed to radiation. The prognosis for MTC patients depends largely on the stage of the cancer, but survival rates for those with stages I and II are generally good.