Key Points

  • Hypercalcaemia is often found during routine laboratory work ordered on chronically ill patients who are still asymptomatic
  • Familiarity with the causes of hypercalcaemia is essential because certain types can be easily treated
  • Severe hypercalcaemia is a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment
  • If left untreated, hypercalcaemia can adversely affect multiple organ systems, including the bones and kidneys
  • Hypercalcaemia in the setting of malignancy usually indicates disseminated disease
  • Hypercalcaemia usually indicates a very poor prognosis – 4/5 of patients die within a year
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