Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia

Multiple endocrine neoplasia is a group of disorders that affect the body's network of hormone-producing glands called the endocrine system. Hormones are chemical messengers that travel through the bloodstream and regulate the function of cells and tissues throughout the body. Multiple endocrine neoplasia typically involves tumors in at least two endocrine glands; tumors can also develop in other organs and tissues. These growths can be noncancerous or cancerous. If the tumors become cancerous, the condition can be life-threatening.

The major forms of multiple endocrine neoplasia are called type 1, type 2, and type 4. These types are distinguished by the genes involved, the types of hormones made, and the characteristic signs and symptoms. Many different types of tumors are associated with multiple endocrine neoplasia. Type 1 frequently involves tumors of the parathyroid glands, the pituitary gland, and the pancreas. Tumors in these glands can lead to the overproduction of hormones. The most common sign of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 is overactivity of the parathyroid glands.

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