Musculoskeletal syndromes associated with malignancy.
Evidence has been presented supporting a causal relationship between malignancies and musculoskeletal syndromes. This discussion has dealt primarily with lesser known relationships, more common associations such as hypertrophic osteoarthropathy and dermatomyositis being reviewed elsewhere. The ones discussed herein closely mimic primary connective tissue diseases and offer an insight into the study of the pathogenesis of these primary diseases. In view of the natural history of malignant disease, the hope for such patients arises from the physicians early diagnosis and treatment of the underlying malignancy. Early diagnosis and treatment may in turn be entirely dependent on the physician's awareness of a musculoskeletal syndrome being the presenting feature of an otherwise occult neoplasm. Several connective tissue syndromes appear to predispose to the development of malignancy, and increasing evidence suggests that this development of malignancy may be further enhanced by immunosuppressive therapy.
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