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Parathyroid Cancer Causes

It is not entirely clear what causes parathyroid cancer, however, the condition has been linked to certain inherited disorders. This has led researchers to believe that family history plays an important role in the development of parathyroid cancer, and to recommend that those with family members who have been diagnosed with this condition remain vigilant to potential warning signs. Additionally, exposure to radiation, including radiation therapy treatment for other cancers, has also been identified as a significant risk factor.

Hereditary conditions that place individuals at a higher risk for parathyroid cancer include:

  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) syndrome – A rare condition that can cause tumors to form on the parathyroid glands and/or pancreas.
  • Familial isolated hyperparathyroidism (FIHP) – A rare condition that can cause isolated tumors to form on one or more parathyroid gland.

When a patient does develop a tumor as a result of either of these conditions, it is typically benign. However, in many cases, parathyroid cancer causes an increase in the production of parathyroid hormone (PTH), which may result in an overabundance of calcium in the blood. This condition, known as hypercalcemia, may pose an even greater concern than the tumor itself, as it can cause a host of problems, such as osteoporosis, kidney problems, and heart arrhythmia.

Tampa General Hospital's ENT oncologists specializes in treating cancers that affect the head and neck. Our multidisciplinary team of cancer specialists, which includes a robotic surgeon, develops treatment plans that are tailored to our patients’ unique conditions, taking into account factors like their age, overall health, and causes of their parathyroid cancer.

For a physician referral, please use our PhysicianFinder tool  or call (813) 844-2200.