Symptoms of parathyroid cancer are primarily caused by high levels of calcium in the blood (
- Frequent thirst
- Frequent urination
- Muscle weakness
- Poor appetite
It is important to note that only about 1 out of 200 people with
Signs and tests
Parathyroid cancer is extremely hard to diagnose.
Your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about your medical history.
In about half of all cases, feeling the neck with the hands (
Cancerous parathyroid tumors tend to produce very high amounts of parathyroid hormone (PTH). Tests may include:
Blood calcium(levels higher than 14 mg/dL are suspicious)
Blood PTH(levels that are more than twice than normal may indicate cancer)
Before surgery, you will undergo a special radioactive scan of the parathyroid glands. The scan is called the sestamibi scan. You may also have a neck
Review Date: 03/02/2010
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.