Palliative Volume Resuscitation in a Patient with Cancer and Hypercalcemia: Why Bother?

Kelly Ferraro, Sandra Sanchez-Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Hypercalcemia of malignancy affects 2%-2.8% of cancer patients and is associated with an increased risk of mortality and other symptom-related complications. Standard treatment consists of fluid resuscitation, intravenous bisphosphonates, and calcitonin. Little is known, however, about the benefits of treatment of malignant hypercalcemia in patients with late-stage terminal cancer. We present a case of a hospice patient with squamous cell lung cancer brought to our hospital with newly altered mental status who was found to have hypercalcemia of malignancy. Our discussion centers on the diagnostic dilemma of deciding which patients seeking comfort-focused care may benefit from fluid resuscitation for symptoms of hypercalcemia of malignancy while maintaining the unambiguous goal of comfort care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-873
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Palliative Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • hypercalcemia of malignancy
  • palliative
  • volume resuscitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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