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.
- hypercalcemia of malignancy
- volume resuscitation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine