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multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes

Get treatment for multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes

Multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes

Your endocrine system is responsible for producing the hormones that keep your body running. We’re here to keep it working properly, so you can feel your best. 

What is the endocrine system?

Your endocrine system is made up of a system of glands that produce hormones your body uses for a variety of functions, including breathing, metabolism, reproduction and growth. When one of these glands doesn’t produce the appropriate amount of hormones, an endocrine condition can develop.

What is multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes?

Multiple endocrine neoplasia (or MEN) syndromes refer to a group of hereditary conditions that cause tumors (either benign or malignant) to form on glands in the endocrine system.

They fall into different categories:

  • MEN 1, which involves pituitary, pancreas and parathyroid tumors
  • MEN 2, syndromes which include medullary thyroid cancer and pheochromocytoma, a rare type of tumor that develops in cells within one of the endocrine glands

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Our specialists are trained in endocrine care. Schedule a consultation today.

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What are the symptoms of multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes?

Symptoms of a multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome can vary depending on which endocrine gland is affected. 
MEN 1 can cause the following symptoms:
  • Kidney stones and thinning bones
  • Upset stomach
  • Inflammation of the esophagus
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sweating
  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches
MEN 2 can increase your risk of developing certain types of endocrine or thyroid cancer.
With MEN 2, common symptoms include:
  • Bumps around the lips, eyelids, mouth or tongue
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Scoliosis
  • Thickening of the eyelids or lips
  • Itchy skin 

Diagnosing multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes

Our endocrinology specialists are experienced in diagnosing and treating all kinds of endocrine conditions.
Some of the diagnostic tests your doctor may perform to test for multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes include:
  • Blood tests: These tests can also rule out any issues with your thyroid, liver or kidneys.

  • Ultrasound: Ultrasounds take an image of your organs using sound waves. Your healthcare provider will review these images to look for any concerning issues.

  • Imaging tests: Diagnostic imaging tests, such MRIs, CT scans and PET scans, are used to produce detailed pictures of your endocrine system.

  • Meta-iodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) scan: This nuclear imaging test takes place over two days. On the first day, you’ll receive an injection of MIBG, a chemical similar to adrenaline. Several hours later, a special camera will take pictures of your abdomen to determine where the chemical has collected. Additional pictures and a scan will be taken the following morning.

  • Genetic testing: This test identifies whether you carry the gene that causes MEN 1 or 2.

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Multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes treatment

Our team of endocrine specialists is experienced in diagnosing and treating all kinds of endocrine conditions, including multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes. 

Depending on the type and severity of your condition, one or more of the following treatments may be recommended. 

Lifestyle changes

You can make several lifestyle changes that your doctor may suggest to help manage your symptoms. These may include:

  • Increasing sleep
  • Exercise
  • Change in diet
  • Reducing stress
  • Emotional support
Hormone replacement therapy

Your doctor may recommend prescription medications to help manage your symptoms and treat your endocrine conditions. This may include medications to regulate the amount of hormones your endocrine system produces.

The latest techniques, including minimally invasive surgery, might be right for treating your endocrine condition to offer you the best outcomes and path for healing. You can rest assured that your team of specialized surgeons have the skill and level of training they need to perform all the various types of endocrine surgeries.
Radiation therapy

Radiation oncology uses radiation to control or destroy harmful cancer cells, with tools to treat each unique endocrine cancer.

Your team can offer conventional radiotherapy treatments that include: 

  • External beam radiation, which uses special technology to send X-ray radiation (photons) to the tumor from outside the body 

  • Internal radiation (brachytherapy), which targets the tumor using safe levels of radiation inside the body through radioactive tubes or radioactive seeds 

  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), which uses a 3D image of the tumor to deliver high-precision radiotherapy that fits its exact outline 

  • Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), which is used to localize the radiation beam daily and treat cancers in areas of the body that move during and between treatments. This includes cone beam CT scans to accurately view the tumor and target it during treatment.

  • Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), which uses precise conformal beams of radiation to focus high doses of radiation to just the tumor, with very little damage to surrounding healthy tissues

Endocrine care at Geisinger

Our endocrinology team is here to provide you with compassionate care and the most advanced available. We offer:
  • The knowledge you need – Your care team is powered by endocrinologists, surgeons, doctors and specialists with years of training and experience. Their expertise has been honed by treating many people with endocrine issues every year. And their focus is on delivering the care best suited to your needs.

  • Care designed for you, where you live – With locations throughout northeast, central and south-central Pennsylvania, our experienced team provides consultations and comprehensive care. We offer leading-edge treatment options and tailored-to-you care, backed by the expertise and innovation of a nationally recognized health system.

  • Comprehensive specialty care – Our adrenal specialists are dedicated to offering innovative treatment options and personalized care in convenient locations, so you don’t have to travel far. We’ll work with you to develop a personalized care plan based on your individual needs.

  • Genetic testing and counseling programs – Special research programs such as MyCode® are only available at Geisinger. Participating in MyCode allows you to contribute to genetic research. By participating, some may receive information about their own genetic risks. Learn about MyCode.
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