Medullary Thyroid Cancer
New York Sinus & Thyroid Surgery Center – Edward J. Shin M.D.
New York Sinus & Thyroid Surgery Center – Edward J. Shin M.D.
Open Menu tel:646.943.7985
310 E. 14TH STREET 6TH FLOOR
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10003

Medullary Thyroid Cancer NYC

Medullary Thyroid Cancer Surgery

Treatment for medullary thyroid cancer in NYC with Dr. Edward Shin can help relieve symptoms and prevent the spread of medullary thyroid cancer. Medullary cancer is a rare form of thyroid cancer that can be caused by genetics or lifestyle factors. Medullary thyroid cancer is considered aggressive and requires prompt treatment by a team of thyroid cancer professionals. The most common treatment method for medullary thyroid cancer is surgical removal of the thyroid and affected lymph nodes. Dr. Edward Shin is a leading thyroid cancer specialist with years of experience performing thyroid cancer surgery. Dr. Shin can develop a treatment plan that can best address your medullary thyroid cancer.

MEDULLARY THYROID CANCER OVERVIEW
RARE FORM OF THYROID CANCER
AFFECTS PARAFOLLICULAR CELLS (C CELLS) IN THE THYROID GLAND
MORE AGGRESSIVE FORM OF CANCER THAN PAPILLARY & FOLLICULAR CANCERS
SYMPTOMS INCLUDE LUMPS AROUND THE THROAT & FREQUENT DIARRHEA
SOME CASES OF MEDULLARY THYROID CANCER ARE CAUSED BY GENETIC MUTATIONS
PATIENTS OVER THE AGE OF 40 ARE MORE LIKELY TO DEVELOP MEDULLARY THYROID CANCER
THYROID REMOVAL SURGERY IS THE MOST COMMON FORM OF MEDULLARY CANCER TREATMENT
RADIATION THERAPY, CHEMOTHERAPY, & TARGETED THERAPY MAY ALSO BE USED TO TREAT ADVANCED STAGES
ONGOING MONITORING & THYROID MEDICATION ARE NECESSARY FOLLOWING TREATMENT
Medullary Thyroid Cancer Treatment

What Is Medullary Thyroid Cancer?

Medullary thyroid cancer affects the thyroid’s parafollicular cells (known as C cells). These C cells are responsible for making calcitonin – a hormone that helps regulate calcium use in the body. Medullary thyroid cancer is less common than papillary cancer and follicular cancer. However, medullary cancer is also more aggressive than these forms of thyroid cancer and can travel to nearby lymph nodes. Treatment will depend on the size and stage of the tumor.

What Causes Medullary Thyroid Cancer?

There are 2 main types of medullary thyroid cancer: sporadic and familial. Sporadic thyroid cancer is more common; this type is not caused by genetics and may be exacerbated by underlying thyroid disorders. Familial thyroid cancer is less common. This form of cancer is caused by gene mutations and appears independent of any underlying disorders.

RISK FACTORS FOR MEDULLARY THYROID CANCER
Genetic history of thyroid cancer
History of thyroid diseases (hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism)
Autoimmune diseases (Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis)
Past exposure to radiation
40+ years or older

What Are The Symptoms Of Medullary Thyroid Cancer?

Smaller medullary thyroid tumors may not display any visible symptoms. As medullary cancer continues to progress, patients may notice lumps around the throat or neck. These lumps may be tender and sensitive to the touch – a symptom that distinguishes medullary cancer from other types of thyroid cancer. Another unique symptom of medullary cancer is frequent bouts of diarrhea.

MEDULLARY THYROID CANCER SYMPTOMS
EARLY STAGES MAY BE ASYMPTOMATIC
TENDER OR PAINFUL LUMPS AROUND THE THROAT
FREQUENT DIARRHEA
HIGH LEVELS OF CALCITONIN IN THE BLOOD
SWOLLEN LYMPH NODES AROUND THE NECK
DIFFICULTY SPEAKING
DISCOMFORT WHEN SWALLOWING
RASPY VOICE
PERSISTENT, DRY COUGH

How Is Medullary Thyroid Cancer Diagnosed?

Medullary thyroid cancer is often noticed during a routine examination. Your doctor may feel bumps or lumps around the throat and refer you to a thyroid specialist for further examination. Blood tests, ultrasounds, and fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsies are among the testing options that may be recommended to diagnose your condition. If medullary thyroid cancer is suspected, your doctor may also recommend that your family members undergo testing to determine whether or not they are genetically predisposed to this disease.

Will A Biopsy Determine My Medullary Thyroid Cancer?

An FNA biopsy can test a tissue sample of your suspicious growth to determine if the growth is medullary cancer. During this procedure, a tiny needle is inserted into the growth and a small sample is removed. The sample is then sent to a pathologist for comprehensive testing. The results of your biopsy will be known within a few days.

What Are Some Common Medullary Thyroid Cancer Treatments?

Medullary thyroid cancer is commonly treated with surgery. In advanced cases where the cancer has spread to other areas, a combination of radiation therapy and anti-cancer medicines may be used to help prevent further spread and manage symptoms. Dr. Shin will work with you to develop a course of action that can best treat your medullary thyroid cancer.

MEDULLARY THYROID CANCER TREATMENTS
Thyroid Cancer Surgery
Our thyroid surgeon will remove the entire thyroid (total thyroidectomy). If your medullary cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, these nodes will usually be removed, as well.
External Beam Radiation Therapy
External beam therapy uses radiation to destroy medullary cancer cells. Radiation is emitted from a special machine known as a linear accelerator. This machine directs radiation to the thyroid in controlled bursts. Radiation therapy may be recommended in advanced cases where your medullary thyroid cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is another treatment option used when medullary cancer has spread throughout the body. Chemo medicines attack cancer cells that quickly divide and multiply. Chemotherapy is administered orally or through an injection.
Targeted Therapy
Similar to chemotherapy, targeted therapy uses anti-cancer medicines to attack medullary cancer cells. The difference is that targeted therapy attacks the cells’ genes and proteins to stop cancer from spreading.
Thyroid Medicine
Thyroid medication is usually prescribed following medullary thyroid cancer treatment. These medications help balance your thyroid hormone levels. Certain thyroid medicines can increase thyroid hormone levels, while antithyroid medications can reduce hormone levels.

What Can I Expect Following Medullary Cancer Surgery?

Patients who have undergone medullary thyroid cancer surgery are typically released from the hospital in 1-2 days. It is common for patients to have some discomfort when swallowing. As a result, our thyroid surgeon may recommend a liquid diet for the first few days of recovery. You should refrain from vigorous exercise and physical activities until permitted by Dr. Shin. In most cases, patients return to their daily routines within 2-3 weeks. Calcium supplements may be prescribed to prevent low calcium levels in the blood (known as hypocalcemia). Dr. Shin will discuss your post-surgery guidelines and instructions in more detail during your consultation for medullary thyroid cancer surgery.

How Do I Learn More About Medullary Thyroid Cancer In NYC?

Our thyroid cancer surgeon in NYC would be happy to discuss medullary thyroid cancer in more detail with you. To schedule a consultation, please call 646.943.7985 or request an appointment online at our NYC office.

WHAT PATIENTS SAY ABOUT DR. SHIN

Edward J. Shin, M.D.

NEW YORK SINUS & THYROID SURGERY CENTER

310 E. 14TH STREET
6TH FLOOR
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10003

646.943.7985

New York Eye & Ear Infirmary Of Mount Sinai

NEW YORK SINUS & THYROID SURGERY CENTER

310 E. 14TH STREET
6TH FLOOR
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10003

646.943.7985