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MEN syndrome (Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome)

What do you mean by MEN syndrome?

MEN syndrome, also known as Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome, is a rare, inherited disorder in which benign (noncancerous) and malignant (cancerous) tumors are formed in various endocrine glands. At times, these endocrine glands get enlarged even without the development of tumors.MEN syndrome usually tend to run in families and pass on from one generation to the other.

There are three types of MEN syndrome and each is associated with specific health problems:

  • MEN 1 – Parathyroid tumors, pancreatic tumors, and pituitary tumors.
  • MEN 2a – Medullary thyroid cancers (MTC), pheochromocytoma (tumor of adrenal gland), and parathyroid tumors.
  • MEN 2b – Medullary thyroid cancers, pheochromocytoma and neuromas.
What are the causes of MEN syndrome?

MEN syndrome is caused by gene mutations and therefore, one usually has a family history of the disease.

What are the symptoms of MEN syndrome?

The signs and symptoms of MEN syndrome depend on which gland is affected.

  • MEN 1 –Fatigue, weakness, stomach ulcers, pain in abdomen, infertility, lack of periods and production of milk in breasts without pregnancy in women, diarrhea, confusion and sweating
  • MEN 2a – itchiness, high blood pressure, high level of calcium in blood leading to kidney stones
  • MEN 2b –glistening bumps around lips, tongue & lining of mouth, thick eyelids & lips, everted lips, constipation, diarrhea, spinal abnormalities, long limbs and loose joints

Diarrhea, Spinal Abnormalities, Long Limbs And Loose Joints

How can MEN syndrome be treated?

There is no cure for MEN syndrome as of now but doctors aim to treat the changes that occur in glands. The treatment procedures may involve:

  • Surgery to remove tumor
  • Surgery to remove thyroid gland
  • Drugs