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Patients with both MEN 2A and MEN 2B experience two main symptoms, medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) and a tumor of the adrenal gland medulla known as pheochromocytoma.
MTC is a slow-growing cancer, but one that can be cured in less than 50 percent of cases.
MTC can be detected by measuring levels of the thyroid hormone, calcitonin.
Treatment of MTC is by surgical removal of the thyroid.
Since MTC is slow growing, metastasis may not be obvious.
Metastasis is very serious in MTC because chemotherapy and radiation therapy are not effective in controlling its spread.
One of the most serious consequences of MEN is MTC.
Children who are identified as carriers of the RET gene can be offered total thyroidectomy as a preventative (prophylactic) measure to prevent the development of MTC.
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