Parathyroid Cancer: Statistics

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

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with parathyroid cancer each year. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. Use the menu to see other pages.

Almost all tumors that develop in the parathyroid gland are benign. It is important to note that even benign parathyroid tumors need prompt medical care. If they are not removed completely or properly, they can come back and be very difficult to control. This type of tumor may result in hypercalcemia of the blood that is difficult to control or could cause death.

Parathyroid cancer is quite rare. There are likely fewer than 100 cases diagnosed each year in the United States. The disease is most often diagnosed in people older than 30. Men and women are equally affected. Women have a slightly better prognosis, which is the chance of recovery.

The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The current 5-year survival rate for people with parathyroid cancer ranges broadly, from 85% to 20%. Talk with your doctor about what factors affect a prognosis.

It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with parathyroid cancer are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of people with this cancer in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. This means the estimate may not reflect the results of advancements in how parathyroid cancer is diagnosed or treated from the last 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society website; Lawrence Kim, MD, "Parathyroid Carcinoma," Medscape (updated August 3, 2021); and the National Institutes of Health. (All sources accessed February 2022.)

The next section in this guide is Risk Factors. It explains the factors that may increase the chance of developing parathyroid cancer. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.