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Surgery / General Surgery: Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma


Jeffrey F. Moley, MD
Michael Brunt, MD


Washington University has the largest experience in the world with treatment of this rare form of thyroid cancer.

Medullary thyroid carcinoma is the third most common of all thyroid cancers, accounting for 5-8% percent of thyroid cancers. Medullary cancer of the thyroid originates from parafollicular cells (C cells), an abnormal hormone in the thyroid. This is a noted distinction from papillary and follicular thyroid cancers, which arise from thyroid hormone producing cells. C cells produce calcitonin, which do not control metabolism as thyroid hormones do.

Medullary thyroid carcinoma can be associated with other endocrine tumors and occurs more frequently in females than in males (except for inherited cancers).

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Copyright 2015 Washington University School of Medicine