Paraneoplastic effects

The paraneoplastic effects or syndromes are very important clinically because they may provide an early clue to the presence of a specific type of cancer, in addition to the possible lethal effect of the metabolic or toxic effect, e.g. hyponatraemia. These effects include:

• ectopic hormone production

• skin abnormalities

metabolic effects o fever/sweats o weight loss

• haematologic disorders o anaemia o erythrocytosis o coagulation disorder o others

• neuropathies and CNS abnormalities

• collagen vascular disorders

A summary of various paraneoplastic syndromes is presented in Table 23.2 .

Table 23.2 Paraneoplastic syndromes and associated tumours: more common examples

Hormone excess syndrome



Lung, kidney, adrenal, thymoma, pancreas


Lung, kidney, thymoma, thyroid


Lung, choriocarcinoma, hepatoma

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