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Severe pruritus may be seen as a rare complication in some cancer patients (although mild pruritus may occur as a result of dry skin, candida infections or local inflammation).
In majority of patients severe pruritus can be attributed to cholestasis but other causes of itch in cancer patients include:
Pruritus associated with obstructive jaundice often responds to simple measures such as emollients.
In cases of obstuctive jaundice, further measures include:
In paraneoplastic itch, patients may respond to paroxetine or sertraline therapy (1).
For neuropathic itch, Gabapentin may be useful (1).