Parathyroid cancer is a very rare, slow-growing cancer with under 100 cases per year diagnosed in the United States.


Parathyroid cancer is a rare disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of a parathyroid gland. Having certain inherited disorders can increase the risk of developing parathyroid cancer. Signs and symptoms of parathyroid cancer include weakness, feeling tired, and a lump in the neck

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Most parathyroid cancer signs and symptoms are similar to hyperparathyroidism:

  • 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 signs and symptoms of parathyroid cancer include the following:

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

Similar to diagnosing hyperparathyroidism, patients will receive a physical exam and blood test. Radiologic imaging such as an ultrasound, CT scan or MRI may also be performed.

Treatment at BIDMC

Surgery for Parathyroid Cancer

Surgery is the most common treatment for parathyroid cancer.

Endocrine Surgery

Our team of endocrine surgeons is highly experienced and skilled in removing parathyroid tumors and glands.

Learn More