If parathyroid cancer spreads

Cancer cells can spread from the parathyroid glands to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis. Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your healthcare team plan your treatment and future care.

Parathyroid cancer can grow into (invade) the following nearby areas:

  • thyroid
  • muscles in the neck
  • windpipe (trachea) or tissue around the windpipe
  • esophagus
  • nerve that goes to the larynx (recurrent laryngeal nerve)

It can also spread to the following areas and distant sites:

  • lymph nodes in the neck
  • middle of the chest (mediastinum)
  • lungs
  • liver
  • bone
  • sac around the heart (pericardium)
  • pleura
  • pancreas

Expert review and references