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World Journal of Surgical Oncology

, 3:39

First Online: 23 June 2005Received: 07 February 2005Accepted: 23 June 2005


BackgroundParathyroid carcinoma is a rare malignancy, with an incidence of 0.5 to 4% of all cases of primary hyperparathyroidism. Surgery is the only curative treatment.

Case presentationWe report the case of a 66-year-old man referred for a large suspicious substernal goitre associated with severe hypercalcemia due to hyperparathyroidism. After normalization of serum calcium levels, patient underwent surgery. The voluminous cervicomediastinal firm mass could not be removed through the cervical incision; therefore a cervicothoracic approach was employed. Histopathology revealed a giant parathyroid cancer of 450 grams. A review of the literature was also undertaken to summarize the current treatment approaches for this rare malignancy.

ConclusionParathyroid cancer is usually not recognized either preoperatively or intra-operatively. En bloc resection of the tumour with the adjacent tissue is the treatment of choice and it is very important to avoid the rupture of the capsule during operation. Neither tumour size, nor the lymph node status appears to play a role in prognosis. The management of parathyroid carcinoma is a challenge even for experienced surgeons.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1477-7819-3-39 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Maria Grazia Chiofalo - Francesco Scognamiglio - Simona Losito - Secondo Lastoria - Ugo Marone - Luciano Pezzullo


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