Parathyroid cancer is a very rare, relatively slow-growing cancer that develops in the parathyroid glands and can spread to the thyroid gland, neck muscles, and other organs. Parathyroid cancer makes up less than 1 percent of the total number of patients who have primary hyperparathyroidism.
The best chance of curing the disease is to catch it early and surgically remove all the cancer. Sometimes, repeated operations are necessary if the cancer grows back.
As the cancer develops, it interferes with the normal production of PTH, causing excessive amounts of this hormone to be excreted and, therefore, results in high levels of calcium in the blood. When the calcium levels in the blood are too high, the bones are at risk for absorbing too much calcium, which can lead to bone pain and osteoporosis (weakening of the bones).
This condition can also cause kidneys to retain too much calcium, causing kidney stones and kidney damage.