Conditions & Treatments

Parathyroid Tumor

A parathyroid tumor is a growth inside a parathyroid gland. Parathyroid tumors may cause increased levels of parathyroid hormones secreted by the parathyroid glands, leading to hyperparathyroidism.

Parathyroid Tumor

What is a parathyroid tumor?

A parathyroid tumor is a growth inside a parathyroid gland. The parathyroid glands are 4 small glands located in the neck near the thyroid gland. They are part of the endocrine system that regulates hormones in the body. The parathyroid glands make parathyroid hormone that regulates the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. Parathyroid tumors may cause increased levels of parathyroid hormones, leading to increased levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia). Most parathyroid tumors are benign (noncancerous) adenomas. Cancers of the parathyroid are very rare.

What are symptoms of a parathyroid tumor?

If the parathyroid tumor causes symptoms, they may include:

  • Aches and pains, especially in the bones

  • Kidney problems, including pain in the upper back

  • Depression

  • Abdominal pain

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Fatigue

  • Excessive urination

  • Confusion

  • Muscle weakness

The symptoms of a parathyroid tumor may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

Treatment for a parathyroid tumor

Surgery is the main treatment for parathyroid tumors. Radiation therapy and medicines that lower calcium levels in the blood may be needed as well. In some situations, chemotherapy may be recommended. 

Treatment Programs


Massachusetts General Hospital understands that a variety of factors influence patients' health care decisions. That's just one reason why we're dedicated to ensuring patients understand their diagnosis and treatment options. Because a single option might not serve all patients, we offer a wide range of coordinated treatments and related services across the hospital. Patients should consult with their primary care doctor or other qualified health care provider for medical advice and diagnosis information.

Select a treatment program for more information:



Cancer Center

  • Parathyroid Tumors
    Parathyroid tumors are treated in the Center for Endocrine Tumors, one of the oldest and largest programs of its kind in the country.
Imaging

  • Pediatric Imaging
    The Pediatric Imaging Program at Massachusetts General Hospital Imaging specializes in ensuring the safety and comfort of child patients while providing the latest technology and the expertise of specialized pediatric radiologists.
  • Adult Medicine Imaging
    The Adult Medicine Imaging Program at Massachusetts General Hospital Imaging offers a wide range of diagnostic exams and minimally invasive, image-guided treatments, all provided using leading-edge equipment and interpreted by specialty-trained radiologists.
MassGeneral Hospital for Children

  • Psychology Assessment Center
    The pediatric neuropsychology specialists at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Psychology Assessment Center provide neuropsychological assessments to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological, medical, genetic and developmental disorders.
  • Pediatric Endocrine Program and Diabetes Center
    The Pediatric Endocrinology Program and Diabetes Center at MassGeneral Hospital for Children is an international referral center for the management of pediatric diabetes and endocrine disorders in children and adolescents.

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