Hypercalcaemia occurs in about 10% of cancer patients. Although it may complicate any tumour it is particularly common with myeloma, squamous carcinoma of the bronchus, and renal and breast carcinomas, probably because these tumours metastasise to bone or can produce humoral substances which affect calcium metabolism. Patients with hypercalcaemia of malignancy generally have a poor prognosis, but prompt treatment can improve many distressing symptoms. We discuss some new approaches to treatment as well as more traditional ones.
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