Parathyroid cancer

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If parathyroid cancer spreads

Cancer cells can spread from the parathyroid glands to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis. Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your healthcare team plan your treatment and future care.

Parathyroid cancer can grow into (invade) the following nearby areas:

  • thyroid
  • muscles in the neck
  • windpipe (trachea) or tissue around the windpipe
  • esophagus
  • nerve that goes to the larynx (recurrent laryngeal nerve)

It can also spread to the following areas and distant sites:

mediastinum

The space in the chest between the lungs, breastbone and spine that contains the heart, great blood vessels, thymus, trachea (windpipe), esophagus and lymph nodes.

pericardium

The double-layered sac that surrounds the heart. It protects the heart and produces a fluid that acts like a lubricant so the heart can move normally in the chest.

pleura

The thin layer of tissue that covers the lungs and lines the chest cavity. It protects and cushions the lungs and produces a fluid that acts like a lubricant so the lungs can move smoothly in the chest cavity.

Stories

Lusomé Founder and CEO Lara Smith Seeing my sister Erin – a young mother – struggle with the emotional blow and then the physical toll of cancer treatment made me want to do something to help women feel confident.

Read Lara's story

Making progress in the cancer fight

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The 5-year cancer survival rate has increased from 25% in the 1940s to 60% today.

Learn more