Ask a Nurse
posted by andrea81
14 September 2023

Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome and Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Last reply: 18 September 2023 11:48

I hope you might be able to help :)

My Dad is 67, and has been receiving treatment for Small Cell Lung Cancer for 4.5 years. Most recent was radium for a small spot in his head. Besides that his scans have been coming back clear. He has been deteriorating over the last year (severe muscle loss) and the decline has accelerated in the last 2 months where he has lost complete use of one leg, and second leg is not far behind. We hoped that the spot in his head was the cause but there has only been a decline since treatment. Our Oncologist suspects an auto-immune issue but we don't know for sure. He has spent 7 weeks in hospital and now is being moved to pallative care in the hopes he can rebuild muscle there.

I have heard about LEMS and I was hoping that this could be explored as a potential cause of my Dad's muscle loss. What would be the best way to broach this with the hospital team? Might you be aware of any teams or patients in Ireland that have had experience with LEMS?

Many thanks,




commented by Cancer Nurse
15 September 2023

15 September 2023 16:19

Hi Andrea81. - Thank you for your post on ask a nurse.

I am sorry to read that your dad was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer and that he had been experiencing sever muscle loss over the past year. It must be very difficult for your dad, and all of you, to have experienced this decline which has impacted your dad so much.

It would certainly be good to chat with the team about the severe muscle loss that your dad is experiencing. Maybe asking them if they know anything more about what auto immune disorder is affecting your dad and how they feel it will affect your dad going forward.

Most cancer diagnoses in Ireland are discussed at a multidisciplinary team meeting (MDM). For your father it would have been a lung cancer MDM. Specialists involved in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer would attend these meetings to discuss a new diagnosis and/or changes impacting a patient. These specialist would include the team treating your dad.

I do hope that you get to discuss this with your dad’s team soon and that you get to ask all the questions you need to. If you would like to contact one of the nurses on our Support Line to discuss this in more detail, please call 1800 200 700, Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm.

Kind regards,

Cancer Nurse

commented by andrea81
18 September 2023

18 September 2023 11:48

Thank you!

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