Parathyroid cancer, a very rare cancer, is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the tissues of the parathyroid gland. The parathyroid gland is at the base of the neck, near the thyroid gland. The parathyroid gland makes a hormone called parathyroid hormone (PTH), or parathormone, which helps the body store and use calcium.
Problems with the parathyroid gland are common and are usually not caused by cancer. If parathyroid cancer is found, the parathyroid gland may be making too much PTH. This causes too much calcium to be found in the blood. Hyperparathyroidism is a condition which can cause the body to make extra PTH. If hyperparathyroidism runs in the family, there is a greater chance of getting this type of cancer.
Our patients with parathyroid cancer are treated at the Moores Head and Neck Cancer Unit and the Endocrine Surgery Unit. See the Head and Neck Cancer Unit or Endocrine Surgery Unit for more information.