The parathyroids are a group of four glands that are located behind the thyroid. Its function is to control the amount of calcium in the blood through the production of a hormone called parathyroid hormone (PTH).
When calcium levels are low, the hormone is secreted to increase its absorption in the kidneys and removal from the bones. When levels return to normal, the gland stops secreting the hormone.
When there is excessive production of PTH, the levels of calcium in the blood rise, causing a condition called hypercalcemia.
According to Hospital AC Camargo, a reference in cancer treatment in São Paulo, in 85% of cases, this condition called hyperparathyroidism is caused by benign tumors (adenomas), by hyperplasia (abnormal but benign growth of the gland). In 1% of cases, it is the result of a rare cancer, parathyroid carcinoma.
Without treatment, both benign diseases and cancer can cause osteoporosis, fractures, and kidney stones. These diseases affect men and women equally, usually over 30 years of age, and are usually discovered through blood tests that show increased levels of calcium.
The actress Geovanna Tominaga revealed in a publication on Instagram, this Tuesday (17), that she underwent surgery to treat a parathyroid adenoma a week ago.
“’Parathyroiditis’ is silent! Normally, it is only discovered after some complication or silly accident like breaking a bone getting off the bus!”, said the artist.
Oncologist Rafael De Cicco explains that adenoma is a benign type of tumor that affects glands in general, and can occur in other parts of the body besides the thyroid.
“Parathyroid adenoma is the presence of this benign tumor of the parathyroid glands. With the presence of this tumor, the function of the gland is affected and it starts to produce more parathyroid hormone than necessary. This condition is called hyperparathyroidism. The result is an increase in blood levels of calcium and that is when the symptoms begin to be noticed by the patient”, he says.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of parathyroid adenoma are related to increased levels of calcium in the body due to hyperparathyroidism.
“The first signs that patients usually notice are fatigue, constipation, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, drowsiness, which can progress to loss of appetite, muscle weakness, abdominal pain, weight loss, nausea and vomiting, cardiac arrhythmia and depression. In addition, the patient may also notice the presence of a lump in the neck”, says Cicco.
The expert points out that malignant tumors can also affect the parathyroid and produce the same symptoms.
“That is why it is essential that the patient sees a doctor as soon as he notices the presence of the first symptoms. This is because only after carrying out the biopsy will the doctor have confirmation whether he is dealing with a benign or malignant tumor ”, he explains.
The treatment of parathyroid adenoma is carried out from a parathyroidectomy surgery, which removes the gland.
“It is not always necessary to remove the four glands, as this is a benign tumor it can be removed locally. However, each case must be evaluated individually by a specialist in head and neck”, says the doctor.
Source: CNN Brasil
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