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 Paraneoplastic Syndrome

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Join date : 24.07.2011

ПисанеЗаглавие: Paraneoplastic Syndrome   Чет Авг 18, 2011 1:14 am

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Paraneoplastic syndrome is not a particular disease or disorder, but a group of symptoms experienced by cancer patients. To be more specific, it is a group of rare disorders, diseases or symptoms, that are found in people with cancerous tumors (neoplasm). It is not necessary that such symptoms occur in the same location as that of the tumor. So, paraneoplastic syndrome can affect any organ or bodily system. It is not the mere presence of the cancer cells in a particular area that causes such symptoms or diseases, but, it can be said that the symptoms develop as a result of the bodily reactions caused by the cancer cells. Read on to know more about paraneoplastic syndrome.

What is Paraneoplastic Syndrome?

As mentioned above, it is a set of symptoms, diseases or disorders experienced by cancer patients. Let us start with an example. In case of lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, etc., the patient may develop inappropriate ADH secretion, which is an anti diuretic hormone released by the pituitary gland. This hormone affects the production of dilute urine in the body and so, it is released by the body, only when it is needed. But, in some cancer patients, inappropriate ADH secretion happens and this affects the ability to put out dilute urine, causing symptoms, like, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, confusion, and convulsions. This inappropriate ADH secretion is considered as one of the symptoms that constitute paraneoplastic syndrome. While this inappropriate ADH secretion does not happen in normal persons, in case of cancer patients, it is due to the reactions that take place in the body, as a result of the presence of cancer cells.

In short, paraneoplastic syndrome is a set of symptoms or diseases, which develop in cancer patients. It is contended that this syndrome in cancer patients is caused either by the action of chemicals released by the cancer cells or by the cancer-fighting antibodies that mistakenly attack normal cells. There are many different paraneoplastic syndrome symptoms and such symptoms may vary from one cancer patient to another. Paraneoplastic syndrome is commonly seen in middle-aged and older cancer patients. It is estimated that around 20% of cancer patients develop such symptoms. According to recent researches, paraneoplastic syndrome is mainly associated with certain types of cancer, like, lung cancer, renal carcinoma, leukemia, hepatocellular carcinoma, lymphoma, neural cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer, etc. Scroll down to know more about paraneoplastic syndrome symptoms.

Paraneoplastic Syndrome Symptoms

Now, you know that cancer patients may develop some symptoms, diseases or disorders, which are collectively termed as paraneoplastic syndrome. These symptoms will be absent during the initial stages, but, develop with the growth of cancer. It may affect any organ or bodily system, producing a variety of symptoms, which are based on the function of that organ or system, which is affected. In general, paraneoplastic syndrome symptoms include night sweats, anorexia (eating disorder) and cachexia (loss of weight, fatigue, etc.). Other symptoms are categorized into four categories as per the system/organ, which is affected by cancer. These categories are endocrine, neurological, mucocutaneous and hematological. While the endocrine category includes hypercalcemia, hypoglycemia, carcinoid syndrome, cushing syndrome, polycythemia, etc., neurological class has encephalomyelitis, brainstem encephalitis, paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome, polymyositis, etc. The third category - mucocutaneous involves, acanthosis nigricans, pyoderma gangrenosum, dermatomyositis, Sweet's syndrome, necrolytic migratory erythema and many other problems. Diseases/disorders, like, polycythemia, anemia, granulocytosis, nonbacterial thrombotic endocarditis, etc., belong to the hematological category. Among them, the most devastating ones are found to be the neurological disorders, which are mostly seen in breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer patients. The above said categories contains some of the diseases and disorders, which can develop in cancer patients and the symptoms vary with the disease.

Now you have a basic idea about paraneoplastic syndrome, its causes and symptoms. Paraneoplastic syndrome treatment is mainly aimed at the underlying cancer through methods, like, radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. Sometimes, drugs are administered to cancer patients, in order to reduce the autoimmune response. The symptoms associated with some types of paraneoplastic disorders can be alleviated with plasmapheresis, a process that cleanses antibodies from the blood. However, it is very important for those patients, who are suffering from paraneoplastic syndrome to inform the doctor and get it diagnosed at the earliest.
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