Symptomatic Hypercalcemia of malignancy

What Is Symptomatic Hypercalcemia Of Malignancy?

Symptomatic hypercalcemia of malignancy (SHM) is a condition in which high levels of calcium build up in the blood due to a tumor. It is the most common form of hypercalcemia, a condition in which the blood calcium level is elevated above the normal range.

SHM is most often caused by a tumor-producing hormone called parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP). This is an abnormal protein that, in excessive amounts, can cause the body to absorb too much calcium from the bone into the bloodstream. This can cause symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, confusion, and dehydration.

Causes of SHM

SHM is most commonly caused by certain types of cancers, including lung cancer, breast cancer, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. Other causes can include certain medications, excessive vitamin D intake, and certain genetic and metabolic disorders.

Symptoms of SHM

The most common symptoms of SHM include:

  • Fatigue
  • Cognitive impairments such as confusion or memory problems
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Dehydration
  • Frequent urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle weakness
  • Bone pain
  • Kidney stones
  • Anemia

Diagnosis of SHM

SHM is diagnosed by measuring the blood calcium level and other tests, such as the parathyroid hormone level. Your doctor may also order imaging tests, such as X-ray, CT scans or MRI, to look for tumors.

Treatment of SHM

Treatment for SHM depends on the cause and the severity of symptoms. Treatment may include oral or intravenous medications, IV fluids, and in some cases, surgery. Your doctor will determine the best treatment option for you.