Rheumatic syndromes: clues to occult neoplasia

Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2001 Jan;13(1):62-6. doi: 10.1097/00002281-200101000-00010.


Rheumatic disorders associated with cancer include a variety of conditions, most of which have no features distinguishing them from idiopathic rheumatic disorders. It is generally held that an extensive search for occult malignancy in most rheumatic syndromes is not recommended unless the case is accompanied by specific findings suggestive of malignancy. Within the past year information has accumulated on the role of long-standing rheumatic disorders as premalignant conditions and the role of autoantibodies as screening tests for occult cancer. The present article discusses cancer-associated rheumatic syndromes, calls attention to aspects that may suggest the presence of a hidden cancer, and examines the role of laboratory tests as clues of a possible neoplastic etiology of those syndromes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Neoplasms, Unknown Primary / complications*
  • Neoplasms, Unknown Primary / diagnosis*
  • Rheumatic Diseases / complications*
  • Rheumatic Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Syndrome