Your adrenal glands produce many adrenal hormones, and adrenal tumors can cause excessive amounts of these. While small adrenal tumors may be monitored by imaging studies, you may need surgery to remove a tumor if it becomes too large or is cancerous. Medications and radiation therapy may also be used to decrease hormone production and shrink the tumor.
Anaplastic thyroid cancer
Anaplastic thyroid cancer is a fast-growing type of thyroid cancer with an average survival rate of six months. This type of cancer makes up less than 2% of all thyroid cancer cases. Because anaplastic thyroid care is extremely rare, it’s important to be evaluated at a center with an experienced team of doctors. Your cancer treatment may involve surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.
This genetic disorder can put you at an increased risk of developing several types of cancer, including thyroid cancer. If you have thyroid cancer related to Cowden syndrome, your doctor may refer you to genetic counseling.
Cushing’s disease and syndrome
Cushing’s disease is a type of Cushing’s syndrome caused by a pituitary tumor that creates too much cortisol in the body. One of the most common treatments for Cushing’s disease is surgery to remove the tumor. Some patients may also be treated with medication or radiation therapy.
Follicular thyroid cancer
About 10-15% of thyroid cancers are follicular thyroid carcinoma. This type of cancer rarely spreads to lymph nodes. Instead, it can spread through the blood to bones and lungs. Your treatment may include the removal of all or part of the thyroid gland, radioactive iodine, or thyroid hormone suppression. More advanced cases may require external beam radiation or systemic therapy.
Medullary thyroid cancer
Making up 1-2% of all thyroid cancers, medullary thyroid cancer comes from the cells in the thyroid that make the hormone calcitonin. Treatment involves removing the entire thyroid and the affected lymph nodes. Your doctor will likely refer you to a genetic counselor because medullary thyroid cancer can run in families.
Multiple endocrine neoplasia
In this condition, multiple endocrine glands in your body grow benign or cancerous tumors or have excessive growth. There are several types of multiple endocrine neoplasia, and they are linked to genetic causes. Depending on the areas of your body affected, you may have surgery to remove the tumors and thyroid or be treated with medication.
Papillary thyroid cancer
This slow-growing type of cancer makes up as many as 80% of thyroid cancers. Some cases of papillary thyroid cancer are related to a genetic condition called familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). Papillary thyroid treatment may include removing all or part of the thyroid gland and affected lymph nodes, radioactive iodine treatment or thyroid hormone suppression therapy. More advanced cases may require external beam radiation or systemic therapy.
Parathyroid cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects one of your four parathyroid glands in your neck. Treatment for parathyroid cancer includes surgery, radioactive iodine, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, thyroid hormone suppression therapy, bisphosphonate, voice therapy and genetic testing and counseling.
Pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma syndrome
Pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma syndrome is a hereditary syndrome that causes tumors in the adrenal glands or neuroendocrine tissue. These types of tumors are rare and have been connected to several genetic mutations, including mutations in the SDH genes.
The pituitary gland in the central brain produces multiple hormones that control other hormone production throughout the body. If you have a pituitary tumor, careful evaluation is needed. Some pituitary tumors are best treated with medications, and other tumors require surgery. Radiation therapy may also be used to treat pituitary tumors.
Thyroid nodules (goiter)
As much as 30% of people develop nodules inside of their thyroid gland. Most of these nodules are benign, but rarely they can be cancerous. If you have thyroid nodules, you may have a biopsy or fine needle aspiration to evaluate the nodules and classify them. A detailed discussion with an experienced physician is important to decide your next steps after a biopsy.
Von Hippel Lindau disease
This rare genetic disorder causes tumors in the body. These tumors are usually noncancerous, but some can be cancerous. Because the condition affects many parts of your body, it’s important to have care from a team with multiple specialists. You may have surgery to remove tumors, as well as other treatments like radiation therapy.