There is no such thing as routine parathyroid cancer. Every patient’s parathyroid cancer is different, with different, individually unique genes and molecules driving each person’s specific cancer.

At the OSUCCC – James, our parathyroid cancer specialists are world-renowned cancer experts who focus solely on parathyroid cancer and who reach across medical disciplines (oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, pharmacists, endocrinologists, otolaryngologists, and more) to design the very best treatment plan and therapies to target each patient’s specific cancer.

And by offering access to the country’s most advanced clinical trials right here at the OSUCCC – James, patients know that additional options, when needed, are often available for their treatment and care.

Facts About Parathyroid Cancer

The parathyroid glands are located near the back of the thyroid gland at the base of the windpipe. Four organs, each about the size of a pea, make up the parathyroid glands. The glands make parathyroid hormone, which helps the body use and store calcium and maintain normal levels of calcium in the blood.

A parathyroid gland can make too much of the hormone, resulting in a condition called hyperparathyroidism and eventually hypercalcemia, or too much calcium in the blood. Benign (noncancerous) tumors called adenomas can form on parathyroid glands and cause hyperparathyroidism. Rarely, parathyroid cancer causes the condition.

Parathyroid cancer is exceptionally rare, with fewer than 100 cases a year diagnosed in the United States.

Parathyroid Cancer Anatomy

Types of Parathyroid Cancer

Analyzing genetic information about the cells that make up a parathyroid tumor can reveal whether the tumor is a benign adenoma or a cancer. Analysis also reveals the type of parathyroid cancer, including:

  • Chief cell
  • Transitional clear cell
  • Mixed cell

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Parathyroid Cancer Symptoms

Possible signs of parathyroid cancer include weakness, feeling tired and a lump in the neck.

Most parathyroid cancer symptoms are caused by the hypercalcemia that develops. Symptoms of hypercalcemia include the following:

  • Weakness
  • Feeling very tired
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Being much more thirsty than usual
  • Urinating much more than usual
  • Constipation
  • Trouble thinking clearly

Other symptoms of parathyroid cancer include the following:

  • Pain in the abdomen, side or back that does not go away
  • Pain in the bones
  • A broken bone
  • A lump in the neck
  • Change in voice such as hoarseness
  • Trouble swallowing

Other conditions may cause the same symptoms as parathyroid cancer. Check with your doctor if you have any of these problems.

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have parathyroid cancer. But if you have symptoms you should tell your doctor, especially if symptoms have continued for longer than a few weeks.

If you have received a parathyroid cancer diagnosis, or if you want a second opinion or just want to speak to a parathyroid cancer specialist, we are here to help you. Call 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

460 West 10th Avenue

Columbus, Ohio 43210

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