Paraneoplastic syndromes

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 09 Jun 2020

Paraneoplastic syndromes occur secondary to the indirect effects of a malignancy and occur remotely to the primary malignancy. Symptoms are mediated by cytokines, hormones or immune cross-reactivity. These syndromes can cause a diverse range of symptoms and can affect multiple systems.

Paraneoplastic syndromes occur in up to 15% of patients with cancer 3

Paraneoplastic syndromes arise most commonly with small cell lung cancer as well as gynecological and hematological malignancies. 

Paraneoplastic syndromes can affect multiple systems and have a diverse presentation. Some examples are given below 1,2:

Paraneoplastic comes from the Greek words for alongside (para), new (neo) and formation (plasis) 2

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