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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


A Woman with a 27-Year History of Hyperparathyroidism and Hypercalcemia Who Was Diagnosed with Low-Grade Parathyroid Carcinoma

Challenging differential diagnosis, Diagnostic / therapeutic accidents, Unusual setting of medical care, Rare disease, Educational Purpose (only if useful for a systematic review or synthesis)

Monika Kaszczewska, Michał Popow, Witold Chudziński, Joanna Kaszczewska, Magdalena Bogdańska, Joanna Podgórska, Agnieszka Czarniecka, Zbigniew Gałązka

Poland Department of General, Endocrine and Vascular Surgery, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

Am J Case Rep 2021; 22:e930301

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.930301

Available online: 2021-03-03

Published: 2021-03-11


BACKGROUND: Parathyroid carcinoma (PC), accounting for 0.005% of all cancers, is responsible for less than 1% of all cases of primary hyperparathyroidism, and equally affects males and females, usually in 4th or 5th decades of life. PC can occur sporadically and can be associated with congenital genetic syndromes such as hyperparathyroidism-jaw tumor syndrome (HPT-JT), isolated familial hyperparathyroidism, or multiple endocrine neoplasia 1 and 2 syndromes. Surgery is the main treatment, with a limited role of radio- and chemotherapy, which allows 49-77% of patients to survive 10 years. In this work we report the case of a patient with parathyroid carcinoma, whose treatment required 13 surgeries over a period of 27 years, together with radiotherapy and pharmacological treatment.
CASE REPORT: A 51-year-old woman was first diagnosed with primary hyperparathyroidism in 1993 at the age of 23. From 1993 to present, she underwent 13 surgeries and 33 courses of radiotherapy due to recurrent lesions, which initially had a character of parathyroid adenomas, then parathyromatosis, and finally were diagnosed as parathyroid carcinoma. The patient also required and currently requires complex pharmacological treatment to control the calcemia and manage the complications of the primary disease. Supervision by the multidisciplinary professional medical team allows the patient to lead a normal life with good control of the disease.
CONCLUSIONS: Parathyroid carcinoma is a rare disease with a number of complications; however, obtaining satisfactory long-term survival with acceptable quality of life is achievable.

Keywords: Hyperparathyroidism, Primary, Parathyroid Neoplasms, Parathyroidectomy, Radiotherapy, Adjuvant