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Paraneoplastic Syndromes Related to Lung Cancer

Mary T. McClelland
CJON 2010, 14(3), 357-364 DOI: 10.1188/10.CJON.357-364

Paraneoplastic syndromes (PNSs) are defined as signs or symptoms that occur as a result of organ or tissue damage at locations that are remote from the primary tumor site or metastases. Many cancers are associated with PNSs; however, small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is the most prevalent. In SCLC, the systems primarily affected by PNSs include the endocrine system, the neurologic system, and the integumental system. This article provides an overview of primary disorders and classical syndromes, as well as symptom management associated with each system. PNSs are rare, and the best approach is to treat the underlying tumor. Therefore, oncology nurses and other healthcare practitioners should be familiar with PNSs so that they can take prompt and proper courses of action, potentially leading to positive outcomes for patients.

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