People with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) may develop hyperpigmentation. This skin change is typically harmless, but people may choose to reduce its appearance with procedures such as laser therapy and retinoids.
SCLC makes up around
SCLC can lead to ectopic adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) syndrome, which, in turn, can cause hyperpigmentation, a condition in which part or all of the skin becomes darker.
This article explains this link and describes the treatment options available, when to seek medical advice, and the potential outlook for people with SCLC and hyperpigmentation.
Ectopic describes when something occurs in an abnormal place. ACTH typically comes from the pituitary gland. However, ectopic ACTH syndrome occurs when cells outside the pituitary gland produce ACTH in large quantities.
Changes in ACTH, such as those caused by ectopic ACTH syndrome, can cause hyperpigmentation.
Other potential causes of hyperpigmentation
According to the
There is no reliable and recent scientific data concerning the incidence of hyperpigmentation in people with lung cancer.
Researchers in a 2019 article estimate that
Treatment for hyperpigmentation is not necessary if a doctor has confirmed it is harmless. Though, some people may still choose to remove it if they do not like the appearance.
Some potential methods to manage hyperpigmentation include:
Since ectopic ACTH secretion
Additionally, if an individual has any signs of SCLC, they should seek their doctor’s advice. According to the
- a worsening or chronic cough
- chest pain, which may worsen with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
- shortness of breath
- coughing up blood
- coughing up rust-colored spit or phlegm
- appetite loss
- weight loss
- chronic or recurrent chest infections
Lung cancer can also spread to other organs, where it may cause a different set of symptoms. People with SCLC should speak with their doctor if they notice any new developments.
SCLC is a serious condition. According to the
Ectopic ACTH secretion may cause hyperpigmentation in people with SCLC. These skin changes can make some people feel self-conscious or depressed.
People can speak with a healthcare professional to manage and treat hyperpigmentation if it affects their quality of life.
SCLC occurs when smaller lung cells begin to grow out of control. It can cause a variety of symptoms, most notably affecting the lungs. For instance, some people with SCLC experience a bloody cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing.
Having SCLC can lead to ectopic ACTH syndrome. This is when cells that should not produce the ACTH hormone begin to do so in large volumes. One potential symptom of ectopic ACTH syndrome is hyperpigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation by itself does not cause SCLC to be more aggressive. However, other endocrine problems related to ectopic ACTH syndrome
Some people may find it hard living with hyperpigmentation. Treatments, including chemical peels and laser therapy, can reduce this skin change.