There are four small parathyroid glands. They are attached to the thyroid gland in the front of the neck. The thyroid gland and the parathyroid glands are close to each other and have similar names, but they are different and do different things.
We have information about thyroid cancer, which is a different type of cancer and is treated differently.
The parathyroid glands are part of the endocrine system. This system makes hormones that help to control the way your body works.
The parathyroid glands make parathyroid hormone (PTH). This helps control calcium levels in the blood. Calcium helps your muscles and nerves work, builds strong bones and helps your blood to clot.
Most of the calcium in the body is stored in the bones. PTH makes the bones release calcium into the blood. When calcium levels in the blood are high, the parathyroid glands produce less PTH and calcium levels drop.