Huge parathyroid carcinoma: Clinical considerations and literature review

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Background: Parathyroid carcinoma is a rare malignancy, with an incidence of 0.5 to 4% of all cases of primary hyperparathyroidism. Surgery is the only curative treatment. Case presentation: We report the case of a 66-year-old man referred for a large suspicious substernal goitre associated with severe hypercalcemia due to hyperparathyroidism. After normalization of serum calcium levels, patient underwent surgery. The voluminous cervicomediastinal firm mass could not be removed through the cervical incision; therefore a cervicothoracic approach was employed. Histopathology revealed a giant parathyroid cancer of 450 grams. A review of the literature was also undertaken to summarize the current treatment approaches for this rare malignancy. Conclusion: Parathyroid cancer is usually not recognized either preoperatively or intra-operatively. En bloc resection of the tumour with the adjacent tissue is the treatment of choice and it is very important to avoid the rupture of the capsule during operation. Neither tumour size, nor the lymph node status appears to play a role in prognosis. The management of parathyroid carcinoma is a challenge even for experienced surgeons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39
JournalWorld Journal of Surgical Oncology
Publication statusPublished - Jun 23 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Surgery


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