Parathyroid cancer

Parathyroid cancer overview

You are at the center of everything we do at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. Here, we surround you with a team of specialists from the Fred Hutch Endocrine Tumor Clinic and UW Medical Center Endocrine Clinic. Your team works together closely to provide expert care and compassionate support throughout your treatment and beyond.

Because our experts see so many people with thyroid and parathyroid cancer, we have a deep understanding of how to evaluate your condition and how to select and combine treatments to get the best possible results — even for rare cancers that many doctors in the community never see once in their career, like parathyroid cancer.

Why choose Fred Hutch?

  • Experienced parathyroid specialists
    Your skilled and highly experienced team includes surgeons, endocrinologists, nuclear medicine doctors, pathologists, medical and radiation oncologists and dedicated nurses. These UW Medicine specialists work together closely to plan and coordinate all your care so it’s thorough and also easier on you.
  • Comprehensive parathyroid cancer treatment
    We follow guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network to make sure you receive the treatments you need (and none that you don’t). We offer a full range of treatments, including surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy for your cancer as well as treatments for a common effect of parathyroid cancer — a high level of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia).
  • A national leader in cancer care
    Fred Hutch is the leading cancer treatment center in the region and among the top nationally, according to U.S. News & World Report.
  • NCI comprehensive cancer center
    We are a comprehensive cancer center, a designation from the National Cancer Institute that reflects our scientific leadership and the depth and breadth of our research to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.
Chemotherapy Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. It may be given alone or with other treatments. Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy may be given by mouth, injection, infusion or on the skin, depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. It may be given alone or with other treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy or biologic therapy. Pathologist A physician who has special training in identifying diseases by studying cells and tissues under a microscope. Radiation oncologist A physician who has special training in using radiation to treat cancer. Radiation therapy The use of high-energy radiation from X-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy), or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells (internal radiation therapy or brachytherapy). Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance, such as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that travels in the blood to tissues throughout the body.

Facts

Parathyroid cancer is very rare. Most cases of parathyroid disease, including almost all cases of overactive parathyroid, are not cancer. At Fred Hutch, our endocrine tumor specialists — all UW Medicine doctors — have experience evaluating and treating people whose disease is cancer related.

Treatment

Fred Hutch treats the full range of cancers that can affect endocrine glands, including your parathyroid glands. Our endocrine tumor experts are UW Medicine doctors who also see patients at University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC). They work together closely to provide coordinated, world-class treatment for you.

Providers

At Fred Hutch, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes physicians, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.

Resources

There are many resources online for learning about your disease. Health educators at the Fred Hutch Patient and Family Resource Center have compiled a list of trusted sources to help you get started.