There are specific genetic causes for each of the three types of MEN. Any particular MEN family will have only one type of MEN, either MEN 1, MEN 2a or MEN 2b. Therefore, families with one type of MEN do not have an increased risk of developing an other type of MEN.
What it Means to be a Genetic Disease
Each cell in the body contains many thousands of genes which determine every aspect of body function. Every person is made up of the genes they receive from there parents at the time of conception. Half of a person's genes come from their mother and half from their father. People with MEN inherit an abnormality (mutation) in one specific gene (that's why they only get one type of MEN syndrome, and their children are at risk only for that same MEN syndrome). Only people who inherit an abnormality in one of the specific MEN genes can develop MEN.
If a person has MEN, each of their children has a 50% chance of inheriting the condition. This means each child of a person with MEN has an equal chance of either inheriting or not inheriting the disease. For example, if a person with MEN has two children, the odds are one will be affected. Similarly, if a person with MEN has six children the odds are three will inherit the disease. Inherited diseases in which the likelihood of an affected person passing a disease to their children is 50%, are known as autosomal dominant diseases. A person with a family history of MEN cannot pass MEN to their children unless they themselves have inherited MEN. Only people with an MEN gene mutation are able to pass the condition to their children. Therefore, if your parents have MEN and you do not, your children will not get the disease.
More information on MEN Syndromes can be found
|More about MEN-1: Parathyroid tumors with pancreas and pituitary tumors.|
|More about MEN-2: Parathyroid tumors associated with medullary cancer of the thyroid and tumors of the adrenal medulla (pheochromocytoma)|
|Specific information about Medullary Cancer of the Thyroid|
|Specific information about Pheochromocytoma.|
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