Symptoms of parathyroid cancer
Signs and symptoms of parathyroid cancer often appear when one or more of the parathyroid glands become overactive and make too much parathyroid hormone (PTH). This is called hyperparathyroidism. It causes too much calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia). Other health conditions, such as non-cancerous parathyroid tumours, can cause the same symptoms as parathyroid cancer.
Most signs and symptoms of parathyroid cancer are caused by hypercalcemia. They include:
- feeling weak
- nausea and vomiting
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- feeling thirsty
- urinating more than usual
- trouble thinking clearly or confusion
- feeling depressed
- stomach pain (may be caused by an ulcer)
- upper back pain (may be caused by kidney problems, such as kidney stones)
- bone pain
- a lump in the neck
- a hoarse voice
- difficulty swallowing
Hypercalcemia can cause serious health problems if not treated, including:
- thin and weak bones (osteoporosis)
- damage to the kidneys so they stop working (renal failure)
- an abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- high blood pressure
- a coma
Find out more about hypercalcemia and how it’s treated.
A state of unconsciousness from which a person cannot be wakened.
Great progress has been made
Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.