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Parathyroid Disease Diagnosis

Diagnosing parathyroid disease can be challenging. It is important to see an expert with a high level of experience in recognizing it. Our endocrinologists and pathologists specialize in parathyroid disease diagnosis, and they are among the most experienced and skilled in the nation.

Biopsy is generally not indicated for either the benign or cancerous parathyroid tumors. Hypercalcemia and fatigue are usually the most common signs of parathyroid disorders.

If you have symptoms that may signal parathyroid disease, your doctor will examine you and ask questions about your medical history. One or more of the following tests may be used to find out if you have cancer and if it has spread.

These tests also may be used to find out if treatment is working. If you have parathyroid cancer, tests may be done to see if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Hyperparathyroidism Testing

Blood tests

Urine tests

Imaging tests, which may include:

  • CT or CAT (computed axial tomography) scans
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans
  • Ultrasound
  • X-ray
  • Bone density test

Sestamibi scan: A small amount of radioactive chemical is injected into a vein. If the parathyroid is overactive, the chemical will collect in the gland and show up brightly on a special camera.

Why Choose MD Anderson?

  • High level of experience with this disease
  • Treatment for both benign and rare, malignant types
  • Accurate diagnosis by specialized pathologists
  • Skilled surgeons, advanced techniques, including minimally invasive procedures
  • Clinical trials of new therapies

Parathyroid Disease Knowledge Center

Treatment at MD Anderson

Parathyroid disease is treated in our:

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Getting a Second Opinion at MD Anderson

The pathologists at MD Anderson are highly specialized in diagnosing and staging parathyroid disease. We welcome the opportunity to provide second opinions.

If you would like to get a second opinion at MD Anderson, call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center