Parathyroid Cancer

What Is It?

Parathyroid cancer is a very rare cancer that develops in the parathyroid glands. A pair of these pea-sized glands sits next to the thyroid on either side of the front of the neck.

The four parathyroid glands produce parathyroid hormone (PTH). This chemical

  • raises calcium levels in the blood by forcing the bones to release calcium

  • stimulates the intestines to absorb more calcium from food

  • signals the kidneys to withhold calcium from the urine.

Healthy parathyroid glands adjust their production of PTH to keep blood calcium levels within a normal range.

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