Currently, no screening programs exist in Canada for thyroid cancer. If you are a high risk of thyroid cancer, your healthcare provider may refer you to a genetic screening clinic for advice.
If you are referred for screening, a genetics counsellor will ask you about your family medical history – the information about your family history will be used to decide whether the abnormal gene is likely to run in your family. If they feel it is necessary, they will perform a blood test to look for the fault gene. The only implication when receiving a blood test is emotional strain you may encounter when waiting for the test results, or receiving a test that is positive.
If you have the abnormal gene…
If you are found with the inherited abnormal gene following your blood test , you may be offered one or more of the following options:
- Regular thyroid scans to ensure that if a cancer does develop, it is treated as early as possible
- Regular blood tests for the hormone calcitonin
- Surgery to have your thyroid removed to prevent cancer
Information taken from Cancer Research UK