Donald J. Sherrard, MD
To the Editors: The article by Ralston and colleagues (1) on cancer-associated hypercalcemia advocates the "do everything you can" approach to patient care. Yet their data make a strong argument to do nothing or, at least, to do no harm.
The investigators (1) do not discuss the quality of life restored to these patients. Pain, the commonest serious complaint among my patients, was not reduced. Nausea, the other major patient complaint that the investigators comment on, was reduced by half (from 20% to 10% of patients). Most patients are not particularly bothered by polyuria and anorexia without nausea. Central nervous
Sherrard DJ. Do Everything You Can. Ann Intern Med. ;113:84. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-113-1-84_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1990;113(1):84.
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