Treatment of parathyroid cancer
Treatment for parathyroid cancer is given by cancer specialists (oncologists). Some specialize in surgery, some in radiation therapy and others in chemotherapy (drugs). These doctors work with the person with cancer to decide on a treatment plan.
Treatment plans are designed to meet the unique needs of each person with cancer. Treatment decisions for parathyroid cancer are based on:
- blood calcium level
Treatment options for parathyroid cancer
- En bloc resection is the primary treatment to remove the tumour and nearby tissues.
- Surgical removal (re-excision) is done for recurrence of the cancer in the neck.
- Lymphadenectomy is done to remove enlarged or firm lymph nodes, which suggests the presence of disease.
- Removal of metastases to the liver, lungs or bone may be done to help control blood calcium levels.
- supportive therapy
- Treatment is given to help manage hypercalcemia.
- radiation therapy may be given after surgery to treat recurrent or metastatic disease
- chemotherapy may be given for recurrent or metastatic disease
- follow-up after treatment is finished
- It is important to have regular follow-up visits, especially in the first 5 years after treatment.
Clinical trials investigate new and better ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer. There may be some clinical trials in Canada that are open to people with parathyroid cancer. For more information, go to clinical trials.
Clinical trial discovery improves quality of life
A clinical trial led by the Society’s NCIC Clinical Trials group found that men with prostate cancer who are treated with intermittent courses of hormone therapy live as long as those receiving continuous therapy.