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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Prevention

Many people have no risk factors for thyroid cancer but develop it anyway. That's why this cancer usually can't be prevented.

However, genetic blood tests can be used to identify people who have a high risk of developing the familial types of MTC. When inherited MTC strikes one family member, all family members can be tested. Those who test positive but have no symptoms of thyroid cancer may decide to have their thyroid removed to prevent the disease. After surgery, these patients need to take thyroid hormones for the rest of their lives.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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