Frequent question: What malignancy is hypercalcemia?


What is high calcium of malignancy?

Hypercalcemia means there is too much calcium in the blood. It is the most common life-threatening complication of cancer in adults. Hypercalcemia develops in 10% to 20% of adults with cancer, but it rarely develops in children. When it develops in people with cancer, it may be called hypercalcemia of malignancy (HCM).

What are common signs and symptoms of hypercalcemia of malignancy?

If you do have symptoms, they may includes:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Constipation and abdominal (belly) pain.
  • The need to drink more fluids and urinate more.
  • Tiredness, weakness, or muscle pain.
  • Confusion, disorientation, and difficulty thinking.
  • Headaches.
  • Depression.

What are the two main mechanisms by which malignancy causes hypercalcaemia?

There are two main mechanisms by which cancer can lead to hypercalcemia. The first and most common is local action on bone as may be seen in multiple myeloma or carcinomas (e.g., breast or prostate) that metastasize to bone. The second mechanism is by tumors that secrete humoral factors that stimulate bone resorption.

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Why does calcium increase in malignancy?

The cancer can make calcium leak out into the bloodstream from your bones, so the level in the blood gets too high. The cancer might also affect the amount of calcium that your kidneys are able to get rid of. Damaged areas of bone can release calcium into your bloodstream if you have cancer that has spread to the bone.

Should I worry if my calcium is high?

If you don’t get it treated, high levels of calcium in your blood can lead to bone loss, kidney stones, kidney failure, and heart problems. Your doctor can help you get your calcium levels back to normal and figure out why they’re out of whack in the first place.

How is hypercalcaemia of malignancy treated?

Thus, patients with hypercalcemia will generally need to be managed with urgency, and hypercalcemia of malignancy in many cases represents an oncologic emergency. The treatment options for hypercalcemia include IV hydration, calcitonin, bisphosphonates, denosumab, gallium nitrate, prednisone, and hemodialysis.

What is the first line treatment for hypercalcemia?

Intravenous bisphosphonates are the treatment of first choice for the initial management of hypercalcaemia, followed by continued oral, or repeated intravenous bisphosphonates to prevent relapse.

How do I get my calcium levels down?

These include:

  1. Drinking plenty of water. Staying hydrated may lower blood calcium levels, and it can help to prevent kidney stones.
  2. Quitting smoking. Smoking can increase bone loss. …
  3. Exercising and strength training. This promotes bone strength and health.
  4. Following guidelines for medications and supplements.
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What is the most common cause of hypercalcemia?

Hypercalcemia is caused by: Overactive parathyroid glands (hyperparathyroidism). This most common cause of hypercalcemia can stem from a small, noncancerous (benign) tumor or enlargement of one or more of the four parathyroid glands.

How common is hypercalcemia of malignancy?

Hypercalcemia is relatively common in patients with cancer, occurring in approximately 20 to 30 percent of cases [1]. It is the most common cause of hypercalcemia in the inpatient setting.

What is a normal PTHrP level?

Mean serum PTHrP levels were 4.9 +/- 0.5 pmol/L (normal, <2.5) and values above the normal range were found in 53% of the patients (76% in lung and upper respiratory tract malignancies).

How do you fix hypercalcemia?


  1. Calcitonin (Miacalcin). This hormone from salmon controls calcium levels in the blood. …
  2. Calcimimetics. This type of drug can help control overactive parathyroid glands. …
  3. Bisphosphonates. …
  4. Denosumab (Prolia, Xgeva). …
  5. Prednisone. …
  6. IV fluids and diuretics.

Can vitamin D cause high calcium levels?

Along with the aforementioned reasons, taking a vitamin D supplement over an extended period of time can cause the blood calcium level to rise. If calcium in the blood exceeds a normal level, hypercalcemia may develop.

How long can a person live with hypercalcemia?

Unfortunately, cancer-related hypercalcemia has a poor prognosis, as it is most often associated with disseminated disease. Eighty percent of patients will die within a year, and there is a median survival of 3 to 4 months.

What should I eat if my calcium is high?

Here are 15 foods that are rich in calcium, many of which are non-dairy.

  • Seeds. Seeds are tiny nutritional powerhouses. …
  • Cheese. Most cheeses are excellent sources of calcium. …
  • Yogurt. Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium. …
  • Sardines and Canned Salmon. …
  • Beans and Lentils. …
  • Almonds. …
  • Whey Protein. …
  • Some Leafy Greens.
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