Parathyroid Cancer: Risk Factors

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 06/2022

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about the factors that increase the chance of developing parathyroid cancer. Use the menu to see other pages.

A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing cancer. Although risk factors often influence the development of cancer, most do not directly cause the cancer. Some people with several risk factors never develop cancer, while others with no known risk factors do. Knowing your risk factors and talking about them with your doctor may help you make more informed lifestyle and health care choices.

There are no known causes for most parathyroid tumors. However, the following risk factor may increase a person’s chance of developing parathyroid tumors and parathyroid cancer:

  • Family history. A history of parathyroid tumors in a family may raise a person’s risk of developing a parathyroid tumor. A hereditary, or inherited, condition known as multiple endocrine neoplasia may raise an individual’s risk for benign parathyroid tumors. For more information, visit the sections describing multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) and multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2). All MEN-related parathyroid tumors are benign.

  • Hyperparathyroidism jaw tumor (HPT-JT). This is an inherited condition that causes increased activity in the parathyroid glands. HPT-JT is caused by mutations, or changes, to the CDC73 gene and puts people at a higher risk of developing parathyroid cancer.

There are no known risk factors for people who do not have a family history of parathyroid tumors.

The next section in this guide is Symptoms and Signs. It explains what body changes or medical problems parathyroid cancer can cause. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.