Is the risk of primary hyperparathyroidismincreased in patients with untreated breast cancer?

V. Belardi, E. Fiore, E. Giustarini, I. Muller, S. Sabatini, V. Rosellini, E. Seregni, R. Agresti, C. Marcocci, P. Vitti, C. Giani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: An increased frequency of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHP) has been reported in patients with treated breast cancer (BC). PHP has been found in about 7% of BC patients after surgery and radio-, chemio- or hormonal therapy. Aim: To evaluate the frequency of PHP in untreated BC patients. Subjects and methods: We evaluated 186 women with BC and 233 women with thyroid cancer (TC, no.=122) or benign thyroid diseases (BTD, no.=111). In all patients, serum calcium, albumin, PTH, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH vitD) were measured before any treatment. Results: Serum calcium concentrations were significantly higher in BC than in TC and BTD groups (median values 9.5 mg/dl, 9.3 mg/dl and 9.3 mg/dl, respectively) but, according to a logistic regression model, calcium was not significantly different between the 3 groups when age was taken into account. In all patients, serum calcium was in the normal range, indicating that no case of overt PHP was present. Five patients (1 in BC, 2 in TC, and 2 in BDT groups) had serum calcium close to the upper limit of normal range, high PTH and low 25-OH vitD, indicating a possible PHP with hypercalcemia masked by concomitant 25-OH vitD deficiency. Conclusions: In untreated BC group, no patient had overt PHP and 1/186 (0.5%) presented a possible PHP masked by 25-OH vitD deficiency, a PHP frequency much lower than that observed in treated BC patients. These data suggest that the treatments of BC may be responsible for the increased frequency of PHP reported in previous studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-325
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • Breast cancer
  • Calcium metabolism
  • Primary hyperparathyroidism
  • PTH
  • Thyroid cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Medicine(all)

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