Carney complex is a disorder wherein there is risk of formation of many tumours. It is a hereditary genetic condition. Carney complex can be passed down from generation to generation in a family through alterations in genes. They are benign (noncancerous) connective tissue tumours; which grow but do not spread and cancerous tumours of the hormone-producing glands called endocrine Tumours, which grow and spread to other parts of the body.
There are two types of Carney Complex:
- Type 1 - PRKAR1A gene.
- Type 2 - CNC gene.
Carney complex is also known as:
- LAMB syndrome – Lentigines, Atrial Myxoma, and Blue nevi
- NAME syndrome – Nevi (meaning birthmarks or moles), Atrial myxoma , Myxoid neurofibromas and Ephelides (freckles)
Parents who carry a gene mutation have the risk of their child getting the cancer syndrome on a hereditary basis. A medical procedure done along with in-vitro fertilization (IVF) allows such parents to have children who do not carry the mutation.
Carney complex is very rare and most of the mutations are unique, that means they are identified in single families only.
Skin pigmentation and heart myxomas or other heart related problems are commonly the first symptoms of Carney Complex. These symptoms develop in a person’s childhood or when they are in their early 20s. Spotty skin pigmentation is seen on lips, the membrane lining of the eye, inner and outer corners of the eye, around the genital area and oral mucosa.
Other common symptoms of Carney Complex are Cushing’s syndrome and multiple thyroid nodules which features a combination of weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes and bruising oneself easily which is caused by the over production of the hormone cortisol. Carney Cancer is also the cause for ovarian, liver, testicular and pancreatic cancer, and "schwannoma", which is a rare tumour of the nervous system which can sometimes be very aggressive and cancerous.
Treatment of Carney complex through surgery can be hard to be a success as there is recurrence inside the heart, often far away from the place of the initial tumour.