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At this time, there are no generally accepted recommendations for reducing your risk of thyroid cancer.

Medullary thyroid cancer often is genetically inherited. If anyone in your family has been diagnosed with medullary or other endocrine cancers or if your family is known to carry a mutation (abnormal change) in the RET gene, you may wish to be tested to see if you have this mutation. Medullary thyroid cancers may be part of syndromes that involve other types of endocrine or other cancers, thus a careful family history for cancer is important.

If you carry the RET gene, you may be advised to have your thyroid removed at a very early age to avoid the very high risk of developing medullary thyroid cancer.


American Thyroid Association (ATA) Guidelines Taskforce on Thyroid Nodules and Differentiated Thyroid Cancer, Cooper DS, Doherty GM, et al. Revised American Thyroid Association management guidelines for patients with thyroid nodules and differentiated thyroid cancer. Thyroid. 2009;19(11):1167-1214.

Conn’s Current Therapy. 54th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2002: 652-657.

Thyroid cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at Accessed September 17, 2014.

Thyroid cancer—for patients. National Cancer Institute website. Available at Accessed September 17, 2014.

Thyroid carcinoma. In: Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2000: 1247-1250.

Last reviewed September 2015 by Mohei Abouzied, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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