My husband, Robert, calls my rare disease a “brutal and unkind disease”. But it all began with very mild symptoms … numbness in three toes on my left foot. View my video to learn more about paraneoplastic neurological syndromes.
Paraneoplastic neurological syndromes (PNS) are a group of conditions that can affect the nervous system in people with cancer. They occur as a result of the patient's immune system to the malignancy. PNS may cause severe damage to the nervous system.
PNS is estimated to occur in less than 1% of patients with cancer.
Symptoms of PNS often occur before the person realizes he or she has cancer.
In the majority of patients with PNS, the tumor is localized to one site without having spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body.
The diagnosis of PNS is based on a combination of symptoms, lab studies and the specific paraneoplastic antibodies that may be found in the blood and/or spinal fluid.
Treatment of PNS varies, but the main therapy is treatment of the underlying cancer.