Parathyroid Cancer

Symptoms and Treatment of Parathyroid Cancer

Whether you are a doctor, a patient, or a member of the general public, there is no doubt about the importance of understanding the symptoms and treatment of parathyroid cancer. Although this disease is relatively uncommon, it can cause severe problems if not diagnosed and treated early. Fortunately, there are treatments that are available today that can help reduce the symptoms and potentially even cure the disease.

Signs and symptoms

Symptoms of parathyroid cancer include pain in the neck, difficulty swallowing, polydipsia, fatigue, and joint pain. The cause of these symptoms is high calcium levels in the blood. These can damage the kidneys, bones, and nerves. The most common complication is hypercalcemia.

Parathyroid cancer is rare, but it is a very dangerous disease. It is estimated that recurrences of the disease occur in about half of patients within three years of initial diagnosis. Hypercalcemia is the main complication and is responsible for most deaths from parathyroid cancer. It can also cause nephrolithiasis.

When hypercalcemia is present, it can affect the kidneys and cause bone fractures. Surgery is usually the most effective treatment. During surgery, the tumor may be removed and other tissues may be removed. It is important to have radical surgery to avoid damaging the tumor capsule.

Imaging tests can also help detect parathyroid cancer. Imaging tests include a bone scan, a sestamibi scan, and a CT scan. These tests can also reveal whether cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

The first step in diagnosing parathyroid cancer is to get a routine blood test to measure the amount of parathyroid hormone in the blood. High levels of parathyroid hormone cause hypercalcemia, which is dangerous.

The second step is to have a physical exam. Your doctor will ask you about your health and ask questions about your family’s medical history. They will also check your neck to see if there is a lump. If there is a lump, it may be a parathyroid tumor. A CT scan can help determine the size of the tumor. An ultrasound scan uses special sound waves to image the neck.

A sestamibi scan can confirm that the tumor is an abnormal parathyroid gland. This test is specialized and uses a radioactive material called sestamibi.

A fine needle aspiration biopsy can also confirm the diagnosis of parathyroid carcinoma. The tissue of parathyroid carcinomas is gray-white and firm. A parathyroid adenoma is a smaller and dark brown.

If a tumor is found, treatment is planned to control the blood calcium level. It is important to discuss risks and options with your healthcare provider.


Symptoms of parathyroid cancer include bone pain, osteoporosis, and kidney problems. It is also associated with weakness, loss of appetite, and polyuria. Some patients also experience depression, shortness of breath, and fatigue.

Parathyroid cancer is a rare malignancy. It is estimated to account for 0.05% of all tumors. The disease usually develops slowly and is often recurrent. It is not known what causes parathyroid cancer or whether there are risk factors. However, a genetic study has identified a genetic syndrome called MEN1 that increases the risk of this disease.

The risk of parathyroid cancer is also increased in patients who have had radiotherapy to the neck area. The risk is higher if you have a family history of parathyroid cancer. It is also important to note that the disease can recur after surgery. This can lead to a long period of time before it is diagnosed.

In order to diagnose parathyroid cancer, there are several tests are performed. They include a CT scan and a blood test. The CT scan creates a detailed image of the body. Using a special type of CT, cancer can be pinpointed and treated.

There are also tests that are performed to determine the spread of the tumor. These tests include a SPECT scan, a CT scan, and a blood test. The SPECT scan uses a mixture of proteins called sestamibi that travels through the blood. The sestamibi travels to the overactive gland and builds up in the tissue.

The CT scan may also show the tumor’s location. It can also help detect tumors in other parts of the body. This can be beneficial for parathyroid cancer patients since it may reduce the risk of spread to bones.

If the tumor cannot be completely removed, it can be treated with medication. Patients may also participate in clinical trials to learn more about the disease and treatment. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has information on the treatment of parathyroid cancer and also provides a clinical trial search. You can search for clinical trials by type, age, and cancer type.


Depending on the type and stage of your parathyroid cancer, treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of all of these. It is important to discuss your options with your healthcare team so that you can get the best possible treatment for your disease.

For most patients, the first treatment option for parathyroid cancer is surgery. This may include the removal of part of the thyroid gland, the parathyroid gland, or the muscles and tissues surrounding the parathyroid gland. Surgery can also help to reduce the amount of parathyroid hormone that is released into the blood. It can also remove any tumors that have spread to other parts of the body.

During surgery, the surgeon will check the area around the parathyroid gland, as well as the vocal cords. They may also remove lymph nodes in the neck, depending on the type of parathyroid cancer and how it is located.

The surgery may also include the removal of the recurrent laryngeal nerve. This may result in hoarseness and speech problems.

After surgery, patients may have to take medicines to control the level of calcium in their blood. They may also have to take extra calcium for a short period of time to get their calcium levels back to normal. This may increase their risk of fractures.

Chemotherapy uses powerful anti-cancer drugs to kill cancer cells. Some chemotherapy medicines are taken by mouth, while others are injected into the veins. Chemotherapy may also be used after surgery to kill cancer cells that have spread. Chemotherapy is usually administered by infusion into the vein, but it can also be given intravenously. Chemotherapy can cause side effects, such as vomiting, hair loss, and mouth sores.

Depending on the type of parathyroid cancer, radiation therapy can help to kill cancer cells that are located in the parathyroid gland or elsewhere in the body. This is done to prevent cancer from spreading and to relieve symptoms.

Radiation therapy can also cause side effects. Patients may experience increased bone fractures, kidney problems, and nephrolithiasis (stones in the kidneys). Other side effects may include mouth sores, nausea, vomiting, and hair loss.


Among patients with parathyroid carcinoma, recurrence occurs in approximately half. Recurrent disease is much more common in patients with parathyroid cancer than in patients with atypical parathyroid adenomas. However, the differences between parathyroid carcinoma and atypical parathyroid adenomas may be difficult to detect clinically. A recent study has sought to compare the characteristics of patients with parathyroid carcinoma and atypical parathyroid tumors.

The study found that patients with parathyroid cancer had a higher survival rate at the time of surgery. Among patients with recurrent disease, 67 percent had recurrence-free survival at two years. The study also found that the recurrence-free survival rate at five years was 78 percent.

Among the 27 symptomatic patients with parathyroid carcinoma, 21 developed distant metastases. The most common sites for invasion are the lungs, liver, and bone. Patients with parathyroid cancer are more likely to have hypercalcemia. This condition can be life-threatening. Symptoms of hypercalcemia include difficulty swallowing and hoarseness.

In order to help clinicians diagnose parathyroid cancer, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has created a new prognostic tool. This tool accurately predicts whether a patient with parathyroid cancer will develop recurrence. The tool also helps physicians determine the optimal postoperative strategy.

In order to assess the differences between parathyroid carcinoma and recurrent parathyroid cancer, researchers examined data on patients who were treated for parathyroid cancer at the MD Anderson Cancer Center between 1980 and 2016. They found that patients with parathyroid cancer were significantly more likely to develop recurrence than patients with atypical parathyroid neoplasms. In addition, patients with parathyroid carcinoma were more likely to have musculoskeletal symptoms than patients with atypical parathyroid tumors.

Among patients with parathyroid carcinoma, the majority had hypercalcemia. Most patients were past or present smokers. Several patients had postoperative hypocalcemia. Several of the patients required bisphosphonates. The most common treatment for parathyroid cancer is surgery. Surgical removal of the tumor is often followed by adjuvant treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation. However, these treatments are not proven to improve overall survival.

During the study, 28 patients with parathyroid carcinoma had their tumors surgically removed. In addition, 23 patients underwent bilateral neck explorations.

Health Sources:

Health A to Z. (n.d.).

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.).

Directory Health Topics. (n.d.).

Health A-Z. (2022, April 26). Verywell Health.

Harvard Health. (2015, November 17). Health A to Z.

Health Conditions A-Z Sitemap. (n.d.).

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman is a Healthy Home Remedies Writer for Home Remedy Lifestyle! With over 10 years of experience, I've helped countless people find natural solutions to their health problems. At Home Remedy Lifestyle, we believe that knowledge is power. I am dedicated to providing our readers with trustworthy, evidence-based information about home remedies and natural medical treatments. I love finding creative ways to live a healthy and holistic lifestyle on a budget! It is my hope to empower our readers to take control of their health!

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