What is the incidence of hypercalcemia among cancer patients in the US?

Updated: Apr 11, 2018
  • Author: Thomas E Green, DO, MPH, MMM, CPE, FACEP, FACOEP; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Hypercalcemia is a fairly common metabolic emergency. Between 20-40% of patients with cancer develop hypercalcemia at some point in their disease (this may be decreasing with the use of bisphosphates, but data are lacking), and it is the most common serious electrolyte presenting in adults with malignancies. [9]

A study by Gastanaga et al estimated that between 2009 and 2013, 2.0-2.8% of all cancer patients in the United States were affected by hypercalcemia of malignancy, with the highest rates of such hypercalcemia found in multiple myeloma patients (7.5-10.2% between 2010 and 2012), and the lowest rates found in patients with prostate cancer (1.4-2.1% between 2011 and 2012). [10]


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