PMR and Cancer

Posted by jrangel1 @jrangel1, Aug 2 10:27am

Just wanted to make everyone aware that some Cancers, in my case NSC Lung cancer, can present PMR symptoms. This is known as a Paraneoplastic Syndrome. I was a healthy, active, and relatively young (58) when I had a sudden onset of severe bilateral joint pain which started in my neck, then progressed to my hips and shoulders. I was examined by an orthopedic specialist and a neurosurgeon, who conducted multiple tests and found everything to be normal. I went for physical therapy, but to no avail. I was referred to a rheumatologist who diagnosed me with PMR, after eliminating all other rheumatic diseases. I was treated with prednisone for my symptoms, which brought instant relief to my severe pain. I eventually reduced my dosage to a low dose of 6-8 mg daily. This dosage was acceptable and permitted me to revert back to my active lifestyle. Then a family friend and doctor explained that I am being treated for symptoms and there may be an underlying condition that has not yet been identified. Long story short, went for a series of tests of all major organs, and found a spot on my lung. I was diagnosed with NSC stage 2 Lung cancer (I'm a non smoker), had surgery, chemo and was placed on targeted therapy. I am so thankful to say 2 years later I am considered CURED and cancer free. I am forever grateful for my PMR symptoms, which ultimately uncovered my cancer, by the grace of God. If my story could save ONE life, please consider further testing and exhaust all possibilities of cancer before settling for a PMR diagnosis.

Hello @jrangel1, Welcome to Connect. Thank you for sharing your story. It's great that they were able to find the cancer and treat it. It's no small miracle that it was found in time and it's even better news that you are cancer free now. As a fellow PMR patient and one that is concerned about cancer I never thought about a link between PMR and cancer. I found an older article from 2013 that also mentions a link between PMR and cancer.

Is There a Link Between Cancer and Polymyalgia Rheumatica?: https://www.rheumatologynetwork.com/view/there-link-between-cancer-and-polymyalgia-rheumatica

@jrangel1 Is your PMR in remission now or are you still on prednisone to treat the symptoms?

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@johnbishop

Hello @jrangel1, Welcome to Connect. Thank you for sharing your story. It's great that they were able to find the cancer and treat it. It's no small miracle that it was found in time and it's even better news that you are cancer free now. As a fellow PMR patient and one that is concerned about cancer I never thought about a link between PMR and cancer. I found an older article from 2013 that also mentions a link between PMR and cancer.

Is There a Link Between Cancer and Polymyalgia Rheumatica?: https://www.rheumatologynetwork.com/view/there-link-between-cancer-and-polymyalgia-rheumatica

@jrangel1 Is your PMR in remission now or are you still on prednisone to treat the symptoms?

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Hello @johnbishop .. thank you for responding to my post as it's important to raise awareness of cancer symptoms similar to PMR. Your article infers that PMR caused the cancer. It's the other way around; cancer manifested itself in PMR symptoms of bilateral joint pain with raised CRP and Sed rates. My rheumatologist confirmed this correlation as well as my oncologist at MSK. Furthermore, it was known by all my doctors throughout my cancer treatment, although not common at about 10-20%. My symptoms disappeared entirely after chemo was completed. I never had PMR to begin with; just the symptoms where cancer was the culprit.
I'm unable to attach an article as a new member, but google pulmonologyadvisor – paraneoplastic-syndromes-associated-with-lung-cancer and you should find it. Hope this helps. Best.
Rheumatologic system: Numerous autoimmune disorders may include polymyositis-dermatomyositis, cutaneous vasculitis, hypertrophic pulmonary osteoarthropathy, Raynaud’s phenomenon, overlap syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, polymyalgia rheumatica, and Still’s disease.

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@jrangel1

Hello @johnbishop .. thank you for responding to my post as it's important to raise awareness of cancer symptoms similar to PMR. Your article infers that PMR caused the cancer. It's the other way around; cancer manifested itself in PMR symptoms of bilateral joint pain with raised CRP and Sed rates. My rheumatologist confirmed this correlation as well as my oncologist at MSK. Furthermore, it was known by all my doctors throughout my cancer treatment, although not common at about 10-20%. My symptoms disappeared entirely after chemo was completed. I never had PMR to begin with; just the symptoms where cancer was the culprit.
I'm unable to attach an article as a new member, but google pulmonologyadvisor – paraneoplastic-syndromes-associated-with-lung-cancer and you should find it. Hope this helps. Best.
Rheumatologic system: Numerous autoimmune disorders may include polymyositis-dermatomyositis, cutaneous vasculitis, hypertrophic pulmonary osteoarthropathy, Raynaud’s phenomenon, overlap syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, polymyalgia rheumatica, and Still’s disease.

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I don't worry too much about cancer but there are many diseases which masquerade as PMR. My understanding is that PMR is diagnosed if everything else is ruled out. However, most doctors don't rule out everything else and call it PMR when there is a rapid response to prednisone. Then there is the misconception that if the pain responds quickly to prednisone that confirms PMR. I have had neurological problems that responded well to prednisone. Many types of inflammatory arthritis and degenerative arthritis respond too. My rheumatologist just said many types of pain respond to prednisone.

It would be nice if the diagnostic criteria for PMR was more precise. Even pain associated with prednisone withdrawal and adrenal insufficiency mimics PMR. I have found it difficult to know if PMR is in remission or not.

I'm glad they caught your cancer.

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@jrangel1

Hello @johnbishop .. thank you for responding to my post as it's important to raise awareness of cancer symptoms similar to PMR. Your article infers that PMR caused the cancer. It's the other way around; cancer manifested itself in PMR symptoms of bilateral joint pain with raised CRP and Sed rates. My rheumatologist confirmed this correlation as well as my oncologist at MSK. Furthermore, it was known by all my doctors throughout my cancer treatment, although not common at about 10-20%. My symptoms disappeared entirely after chemo was completed. I never had PMR to begin with; just the symptoms where cancer was the culprit.
I'm unable to attach an article as a new member, but google pulmonologyadvisor – paraneoplastic-syndromes-associated-with-lung-cancer and you should find it. Hope this helps. Best.
Rheumatologic system: Numerous autoimmune disorders may include polymyositis-dermatomyositis, cutaneous vasculitis, hypertrophic pulmonary osteoarthropathy, Raynaud’s phenomenon, overlap syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, polymyalgia rheumatica, and Still’s disease.

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@jrangel1 is this the link you wanted to post?

Paraneoplastic Syndromes Associated with Lung Cancer (ectopic Cushing’s syndrome, SIADH, hypercalcemia of malignancy,Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS), paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis, paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, paraneoplastic opsoclonus-myoclonus, dermatomyositis): https://www.pulmonologyadvisor.com/home/decision-support-in-medicine/pulmonary-medicine/paraneoplastic-syndromes-associated-with-lung-cancer-ectopic-cushings-syndrome-siadh-hypercalcemia-of-malignancylambert-eaton-myasthenic-syndrome-lems-paraneoplastic-limbic-encephaliti/

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@johnbishop

@jrangel1 is this the link you wanted to post?

Paraneoplastic Syndromes Associated with Lung Cancer (ectopic Cushing’s syndrome, SIADH, hypercalcemia of malignancy,Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS), paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis, paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, paraneoplastic opsoclonus-myoclonus, dermatomyositis): https://www.pulmonologyadvisor.com/home/decision-support-in-medicine/pulmonary-medicine/paraneoplastic-syndromes-associated-with-lung-cancer-ectopic-cushings-syndrome-siadh-hypercalcemia-of-malignancylambert-eaton-myasthenic-syndrome-lems-paraneoplastic-limbic-encephaliti/

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Yes, that's the article. Here's another one that's worth reading, but can't attach the link, so you'll have to google it 🙂 .
Thanks to everyone who responded and for your kind words. Best of health to all of you and God bless.

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@jrangel1

Yes, that's the article. Here's another one that's worth reading, but can't attach the link, so you'll have to google it 🙂 .
Thanks to everyone who responded and for your kind words. Best of health to all of you and God bless.

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@jrangel1, I noticed that you wished to post URLs to web resources with your message. You will be able to add URLs to your posts in a few days. There is a brief period where new members can't post links. We do this to deter spammers and keep the community safe. Clearly the link you wanted to post is not spam, so allow me to post it here.

– Paraneoplastic Syndromes Associated with Lung Cancer (ectopic Cushing’s syndrome, SIADH, hypercalcemia of malignancy,Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS), paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis, paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, paraneoplastic opsoclonus-myoclonus, dermatomyositis) https://www.pulmonologyadvisor.com/home/decision-support-in-medicine/pulmonary-medicine/paraneoplastic-syndromes-associated-with-lung-cancer-ectopic-cushings-syndrome-siadh-hypercalcemia-of-malignancylambert-eaton-myasthenic-syndrome-lems-paraneoplastic-limbic-encephaliti/
– Paraneoplastic syndromes and inflammatory rheumatic diseases : Not everything that glitters is gold. The case of polymyalgia rheumatica.: https://www.alliedacademies.org/articles/paraneoplastic-syndromes-and-inflammatory-rheumatic-diseases–not-everything-that-glitters-is-gold-the-case-of-polymyalgia-rheumat-10616.html

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