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Has anyone had hypercalcemia

VivianLee5689's picture
VivianLee5689
Posts: 546
Joined: Aug 2012

I am trying to figure out what impact hypercalcemia will have on his outcome. He has stage IV BOT cancer. He had a 4.5 cm cancerous tumor removed in July 2012. That lymph node showed extracapsilar spread. A BOT tumor removed September 19 with clean margins. He is scheduled to start chemo and radiation on Tuesday. As of now he is in the hospital taking a lot of saline IV and medications to bring down his calcium level. I have done some reading on hypercalcemia with cancer patients and I can't find one good outcome. I am hoping we have survivors here that can calm my mind.

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

I didn't have it. I know it sounds scarybutit doesn't always mean worst case scenario. What are the doctors saying?

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

Too? Sometimes just the saline can get his levels normal and as long as he can drink and stay hydrated the calcium levels might stay down and chemo and rads can start off without a hitch.
I'm praying for you both!
Please keep us posted.
Billie

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3851
Joined: Mar 2012

to do at this time....as Billie said...you're getting the worst possible scenerio's, which is what media is about. It's good that if this was going to happen, it started before his chemo treatments...this way they KNOW his kidneys need extra help and will be very very watchful for anything during his treatments, and they will do everything to protect his kidneys during treatment.

I don't know anything about Hypercalcemia...I'm sorry about that...I'll do some poking around the internet tonight while I'm at work.

You hang in there...Billie gave you words of wisdom...I'll be pumping postive thoughts and prayers from this end too.

p

ToBeGolden's picture
ToBeGolden
Posts: 697
Joined: Aug 2010

I have the opposite challenge: hypocalcemia. So my input won't be directly related to David's situation. This is what I think I've learned from the doctors and a little reading.

In healthy individuals, the parathyroid glands regulate calcium levels in the blood thru their hormone secretions. The parathyroids will "cause" excess calcium in the blood to be stored in the bones, and the parathyroids will borrow from the bones when the blood levels are low.

Neck surgery can harm the parathyroid glands. Often it is the blood supply to these glands that are compromised.

Without the parathyroids, calcium input to the blood comes from diet (supplements, or IVs). Calcium output is through the kidneys. Excess calcium in the blood (when the parathyroids are not working) can easily lead to kidney stones. Ouch! I had some stones.

Now this is only a guess: If David has not been well hydrated, there may not be enough fluids circulating through the kidneys to lower the blood calcium levels. I think part of David's therapy is to get a huge amount of fluid flowing through his kidneys. I would be the docs are monitoring his urine output very carefully.

Now what I have said is almost certainly an incomplete picture. Please factor these few tid-pits with information you get from more reliable sources.

VanessaSLO's picture
VanessaSLO
Posts: 280
Joined: Jul 2012

I just wanted you to know that even though I haven't posted lately I read your every post and praying every day for you and your husband! I really pray that he will soon feel better! Keep positive attitude and everything will be ok! But I agree with previous posts about hydration. My dad was admitted to hospital due to poor nutrition and hydration and they immediatelly put him on IV fluids to take care of his kidneys and blood picture.

Just take care and we are all thinking of you!

VivianLee5689's picture
VivianLee5689
Posts: 546
Joined: Aug 2012

Well we are still at the Markey Center. David's calcium level is now 10.9. They want it in the 8's. I don't know how long they plan to keep him and if we are going to be able to start chemo and radiation on Tuesday as planned. He has been diagnosed with hypercalcemia of malignancy. I am not liking this at all. Tonight he says his kidneys hurt. They tried tube feeding and it made him sick again. Thanks for everyones prayers.

longtermsurvivor's picture
longtermsurvivor
Posts: 1836
Joined: Mar 2010

hypercalcemia related to a paraneoplastic syndrome caused by throat cancer is not likely. In fact, it just isnt on the short list of things that happen to patients with Scc of the throat. There may be other factors at play here, but the radiation treatment planned already shoukd not be affected by this.
Time will sort all this out.

Pat

VivianLee5689's picture
VivianLee5689
Posts: 546
Joined: Aug 2012

I asked the doctor point blank could his hypercalcemia be due to parathyroid. She said no, the blood work confirmed this was caused by his cancer. That is all I really know, but it is worrisome for sure.

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

Have they talked about doing a PICC line and feeding David TPN? This way he will get the nourishment but he won't have to digest it. It is made by a pharmacist so I'm sure they can control it so it won't interfere with his calcium levels.
Just a thought.....
Billie

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