Parathyroid Carcinoma Presenting as Lung Cancer

A Dubey, R Koul, A Binahmed, A Leylek, M Rajaram

Hong Kong J Radiol 2005;8:182-4

Carcinoma of the parathyroid gland is an extremely rare entity. Most causes of the primary hyperparathyroidism are due to either adenoma or hyperplasia. Parathyroid carcinoma is a rare cause of increased parathyroid hormone and related hypercalcaemia. We report on a patient with refractory hypercalcaemia who presented with features of locally advanced lung carcinoma. The patient showed no response to chemotherapy and we therefore explored the possibility of another malignancy being responsible for the symptomatology. This case highlights the need to consider the possibility of parathyroid carcinoma in every patient with severe hypercalcaemia. The rarity of this tumour limits the published data on treatment experience and precludes the existence of any research protocol. Unfortunately, the correct diagnosis of this disease is usually missed, with fatal consequence.