Parathyroid Cancer: Symptoms and Signs

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 12/2014

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

A person with a parathyroid tumor may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, a person with a parathyroid tumor does not show any of these symptoms. The doctor may diagnose a problem if a blood test shows an increased level of calcium in the blood, a condition called hypercalcemia. The symptoms listed below may also be caused by a medical condition that is not a tumor.

  • Bone pain
  • Kidney problems, including pain in the upper back and excessive urination
  • Stomach pain
  • History of gastroduodenal ulcers, which are ulcers found in the stomach and/or small intestine
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • A lump in the neck
  • Insomnia, which is trouble sleeping
  • Malaise, a general feeling of discomfort or illness

If you are concerned about one or more of the symptoms or signs on this list, please talk with your doctor. You doctor will ask how long and how often you’ve been experiencing the symptom(s), in addition to other questions. This is to help find out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis.

If a tumor is diagnosed, relieving symptoms remains an important part of care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with your health care team about symptoms you experience, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

The next section helps explain what tests and scans may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Diagnosis, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.