- HCT (Human Calcitonin)
- Tumor Marker
The thyroid gland secretes the hormone calcitonin, which regulates normal calcium levels throughout the body. Follow-up blood studies are usually done when high levels of calcitonin are present in the blood. The medications calcium and pentagastrin are given through an IV to stimulate the release of calcitonin, and calcium levels are again measured. Calcitonin levels are mainly used to diagnose thyroid cancer, monitor recurrence and how well you are responding to treatment, and as a screen for individuals who are at high risk for the development of this type of thyroid cancer. Treatment is very effective when this cancer is found early. High calcitonin blood levels are also seen in people with breast, lung, or pancreatic cancer, and in the non-cancerous conditions of cirrhosis due to chronic alcoholism, or thyroid infection.
In a medical emergency, step away from this web site and call for emergency help. Remember, we're not doctors and we don't claim to be able to diagnose your condition. The information and services we provide or display here are merely intended to make you a more knowledgeable patient so that you can have smarter conversations with your actual health care providers.