Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1, also known simply as MEN1, is an inherited disorder in which multiple tumours form in the endocrine glands, namely the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, and pancreatic glands. Although the tumours are commonly benign, they can crowd nearby organs or cause the endocrine glands to become overactive, with the parathyroid glands often the first to be affected. The disorder then causes an overflow of hormones in the body, which can result in various potential complications such as muscle or bone pain, indigestion, kidney stones or kidney damage, and bone thinning, among others. In some cases, however, the tumours can also be cancerous.
Due to the multi-faceted effects of the condition, as well as the complexity of hormone-related disorders, patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 need specialist care. The appropriate treatment for MEN1 depends on the individual circumstances of each patient, but usually involves a combination of surgery to remove the tumour and hormone regulating therapy. For cancerous tumours, patients often require surgery followed by chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or other more advanced alternatives such as radiofrequency ablation or chemoembolisation.
The best places for the treatment of MEN1 patients are those where all these different treatment options are readily available. This way, patients can receive the best type of care most suitable and most effective for their condition. Such medical facilities are now widely available in Southeast Asian countries, namely Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. Many hospitals in these medical tourism hubs have gained international accreditation from various organisations, such as Joint Commission International (JCI) and International Standards Organisation (ISO), for their readiness to treat patients with complex conditions.
These three countries are leading the race in the field of medical tourism, serving patients from all over the world with a quality of medical service that’s at par with Western standards. The biggest benefit, however, is that international patients can save up to 75% of their treatment cost if they head to Southeast Asia. Despite significant cost savings, patients can still expect the highest quality of care thanks to the advanced medical infrastructure in these countries, which also put a premium on the skills and experience of their doctors and nursing staff to uphold the high standards set by JCI and ISO, among others.