Benign tumours or conditions of the parathyroid gland are non-cancerous, do not spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body and are not usually life-threatening.
Parathyroid adenomas are non-cancerous tumours of the parathyroid glands. They occur more often in women over the age of 60 years. Parathyroid adenomas are more common than parathyroid carcinoma. They are the most common cause of hyperparathyroidism (an overproduction of parathyroid hormone or PTH). Hyperparathyroidism leads to high levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia).
The following risk factors may increase a person’s chance of developing a parathyroid adenoma:
The signs and symptoms of a parathyroid adenoma result from hypercalcemia and may include:
Some people have no symptoms and the adenoma is discovered accidently when tests are done for another reason.
If the signs and symptoms of a parathyroid adenoma are present, or if the doctor suspects a parathyroid adenoma, tests will be done to make a diagnosis. Tests may include:
Treatment options for parathyroid adenoma may include:
Parathyroid hyperplasia is the enlargement of all 4 parathyroid glands. Parathyroid hyperplasia can develop occasionally in people with no risk factors.
The most common risk factors for parathyroid hyperplasia are kidney failure and vitamin D deficiency and malabsorption.
The following inherited syndromes may increase a person’s chance of developing parathyroid hyperplasia:
The signs and symptoms of parathyroid hyperplasia result from hypercalcemia and may include:
If the signs and symptoms of parathyroid hyperplasia are present, or if the doctor suspects parathyroid hyperplasia, tests will be done to make a diagnosis. Tests may include:
Surgery is the main treatment for parathyroid hyperplasia:
Treatment of the underlying condition that causes the hyperplasia may also include kidney transplant, Vitamin D supplements and correction of malabsorption.
Persistent or recurrent hypercalcemia occurs after surgery about 20% of the time.
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