Parathyroid cancer staging

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Ammu Susheela, M.D. [2]


The staging of parathyroid cancer is based on whether there is localized or metastatic disease.


  • Because of the low incidence of parathyroid carcinoma, an American Joint Committee on Cancer staging system has not yet been formulated and thus is not applicable to this malignancy. In addition, neither tumor size nor lymph node status appear to be important prognostic markers for this malignancy.[1]
  • Patients are considered to have either localized or metastatic disease.

Localized Parathyroid Cancer

  • Localized parathyroid cancer is a disease that involves the parathyroid gland with or without invasion of adjacent tissues.

Metastatic Parathyroid Cancer

  • Metastatic parathyroid cancer is a disease that spreads beyond the tissues adjacent to the involved parathyroid gland(s). Parathyroid carcinoma most frequently metastasizes to regional lymph nodes and lungs, and it may involve other distant sites, such as liver, bone, pleura, pericardium, and pancreas.


  1. Parathyroid cancer. (2015). Accessed on December 29, 2015