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POEMS syndrome is a rare blood disease that affects multiple body systems, including the immune system, which results in abnormal cell production and irregular antibody behavior. The chronic condition can be life-threatening, but the symptoms can be managed with treatment, medication, and therapy.

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1. A Paraneoplastic Disorder

POEMS syndrome is a paraneoplastic disorder, diseases marked by the immune system's abnormal response to a cancerous tumor. A healthy immune system produces proteins called antibodies in response to anything foreign in the bloodstream, including bacteria and viruses. In paraneoplastic disorders, however, white blood cells produce antibodies that attack healthy cells. Paraneoplastic disorders are most often comorbid with a malignant disease such as cancer.

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