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Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 2B
Also known as: MEN2B
Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia 2 (MEN2) is the name for 3 classes of a condition that are closely associated with of a type of cancer known as medullary thyroid cancer.
Medullary thyroid cancer is rare and sometimes spreads to lymph nodes, the lungs, or liver.
MEN2B usually appears in early childhood. It involves the presence of malignant thyroid tumors and, usually, pheochromocytomas. A pheochromocytoma tumor affects the adrenal glands. These glands produce hormones (such as adrenaline) that increase alertness, strength, and speed in an emergency. A pheochromocytoma causes overproduction of those “fight or flight” hormones.
MEN2B is the least common of all MEN2 conditions. This category of MEN 2 usually begins in childhood. People with MEN2B often appear tall and slender, sometimes having small, non-cancerous tumors on the lips and tongue. In many cases, MEN2B causes enlargement and irritation of the large intestine and skeletal abnormalities.
MEN2B can be diagnosed by physical examination.
A racing heartbeat
A painless lump in the neck
Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
Treatment may include tumor-removal surgery or medication to control symptoms. Preventive removal of the thyroid may be recommended for an at-risk child.
A family history of multiple endocrine neoplasia puts you at risk for inheriting the disease. Genetic testing can determine whether a person has inherited genes for MEN2.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center Main Number: 615-322-5000
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