The following treatments may be used to correct hypercalcemia due to parathyroid cancer:
- A drug called gallium nitrate, which lowers the calcium level in the blood
- A natural hormone called calcitonin that helps control calcium level
- Drugs that stop the breakdown and reabsorption of bones into the body
- Fluids through a vein (IV fluids)
Surgery is the recommended treatment for parathyroid cancer. Sometimes it is hard to determine whether a parathyroid tumor is cancerous. Your doctor may recommend surgery even without a confirmed diagnosis. Minimally invasive surgery, using smaller cuts, is becoming more common for parathyroid disease.
If tests before the surgery can find the affected gland, surgery may be done on one side of the neck. If it is not possible to find the problem gland before surgery, the surgeon will look at both sides of your neck.
Chemotherapy and radiation do not work well in preventing the cancer from coming back. Radiation can sometimes help reduce the spread of cancer to the bones. Repeated surgeries for cancer that has returned may increase survival rate and reduce the severe effects of hypercalcemia.