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Side Effect: Low Blood Calcium (hypocalcemia)

What is Low Blood Calcium (hypocalcemia)?

Calcium is an essential mineral that plays a critical role in various physiological functions such as bone health, muscle contraction, nerve function, and blood clotting.

What does Low Blood Calcium (hypocalcemia) look like?

Patients with mild hypocalcemia often do not experience any symptoms, but symptoms that can occur include muscle cramps, muscle twitching, depression, or confusion. More severe cases may be life threatening and can cause seizures, muscle spasms, coma, or cardiac arrhythmias.

Low Blood Calcium (hypocalcemia)

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Who gets Low Blood Calcium (hypocalcemia)?

Hypocalcemia can be caused by a variety of factors in patients with cancer:

How to prevent Low Blood Calcium (hypocalcemia)

Prevention of hypocalcemia in cancer patients involves regular monitoring of calcium levels and identifying and addressing any possible risk factors. Some patients may need to be started on preventative calcium supplementation. For example, vitamin D supplementation may be recommended for patients with vitamin D deficiency, while treatment of low parathyroid may involve calcium and vitamin D supplementation.

How to treat Low Blood Calcium (hypocalcemia)

Treatment of hypocalcemia in patients with cancer depends upon the severity of the condition.


1) Berardi R, Torniai M, Lenci E, et al. Electrolyte disorders in cancer patients: a systematic review. J Cancer Metastasis Treat 2019;5:79.

2) Diniotis B, Sternberg E, Shakuntala S, et al. Hypocalcemia in Malignancy - Unexpected but Common. Cureus 2015;7(12):e442.

Created: February 5, 2024 Updated: March 4, 2024