BMJ Case Reports 2009; doi:10.1136/bcr.03.2009.1725
  • Reminder of important clinical lesson

Hypercalcaemia in breast cancer patients: not always bony metastases

  1. Sophie H A Summers,
  2. Fung Joon Foo,
  3. Sadagopan Varadarajan
  1. Blackpool Victoria Hospital, General Surgery, Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Whinney Heys Road, Blackpool FY3 8NR, UK
  1. Sophie Summers, sophie_summers{at}
  • Published 1 June 2009


An 80-year-old woman with a history of bilateral breast cancer was referred for investigation of hypercalcaemia, initially suspected to be bone metastasis. Sestamibi scan revealed the cause to be a large parathyroid adenoma which was then removed. Hypercalcaemia is the most frequent metabolic complication of breast cancer. Primary hyperparathyroidism is one of the most frequent causes of benign hypercalcaemia, but is often not considered in oncology patients. This case illustrates the importance of considering two primary pathologies.


  • Competing interests: none.

  • Patient consent: Patient/guardian consent was obtained for publication

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