Paraneoplastic syndrome (patient information)

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Paraneoplastic syndrome


What are the symptoms?

What are the causes?

Who is at highest risk?


When to seek urgent medical care?

Treatment options

Where to find medical care for (Condition)?


What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

Possible complications

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1];Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Gertrude Djouka, M.D.[2]


A paraneoplastic syndrome is a disease or symptom that is the consequence of the presence of cancer in the body, but is not due to the local presence of cancer cells. These phenomena are mediated by humoral factors (by hormones or cytokines) excreted by tumor cells or by an immune response against the tumor. Sometimes the symptoms of paraneoplastic syndromes show even before the diagnosis of a malignancy. A paraneoplastic syndrome is a set of symptoms that are caused by a cancer. The symptoms happen in a different area of the body from the cancer.

What are the Symptoms of Paraneoplastic syndrome?

General symptoms

Skin symptoms

Neurologic (brain, spinal cord, and nerve) symptoms

Endocrine (hormone system) symptoms

Other symptoms

What Causes Paraneoplastic syndrome?

Who is at Highest Risk?


When to Seek Urgent Medical Care?

Treatment Options

Where to find Medical Care for Paraneoplastic syndrome?

  • Medical care for (disease name) can be found here.


  • Preventive measures for cancer may also reduce the risk of paraneoplastic syndrome.

What to Expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

  • There are no cures for paraneoplastic syndromes.
  • The type and stage of the original cancer determines the prognosis.

Possible Complications

  • They may result in different complications according to the involved organs.