Malignant spinal-cord compression (MSCC) is a common complication of cancer and has a substantial negative effect on quality of life and survival. Despite widespread availability of good diagnostic technology, studies indicate that most patients are diagnosed only after they become unable to walk.
Is spinal cord compression always cancer?
Overview. Spinal cord compression often occurs as a complication of cancer in people who know they have the disease, but this isn’t always the case. In one study it was found that spinal cord compression was the first sign of cancer in roughly 10 percent of people.
How does cancer cause spinal cord compression?
Spinal cord compression (also called cord compression) is a problem that occurs when something, such as a tumour, puts pressure on the spinal cord. The pressure causes swelling and means that less blood can reach the spinal cord and nerves.
Which type of cancer is a common cause of spinal cord compression?
Any type of cancer can lead to malignant spinal cord compression. But it is more common in people with breast cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer, lymphoma and myeloma. It is important that you know the symptoms so you can get medical advice as soon as possible.
How serious is spinal cord compression?
Without treatment, spinal cord compression can cause damage to the spinal nerves, which can result in loss of bladder or bowel control or paralysis. If you experience sudden inability to control your bladder or bowels, or if you have severe weakness or numbness, you should seek medical care immediately.
What is the most common location of malignant spinal cord compression?
Lower dorsal spine was the most common site of compression (35%) followed by lumbar (31%) and mid-dorsal (26%) spine. 70 (91%) patients had cord compression subsequent to bone metastasis while as other patients had leptomeningeal metastasis.
What are 7 warning signs of cancer?
These are potential cancer symptoms:
- Change in bowel or bladder habits.
- A sore that does not heal.
- Unusual bleeding or discharge.
- Thickening or lump in the breast or elsewhere.
- Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing.
- Obvious change in a wart or mole.
- Nagging cough or hoarseness.
What is the best treatment for spinal cord compression?
How is spinal cord compression treated?
- Medicines may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that relieve pain and swelling, and steroid injections that reduce swelling.
- Physical therapy may include exercises to strengthen your back, abdominal, and leg muscles.
What are the chances of surviving spinal cancer?
Based on information collected from 2000 to 2004, for people diagnosed with a primary malignant brain and spinal cord tumor (including lymphoma and leukemia, tumors of the pituitary and pineal glands, and tumors of the nose), the five-year survival rates are 28.8 percent for males and 31.6 percent for females.
What happens if spinal cord compression is left untreated?
Compression of these nervous system structures leads to the previously mentioned symptoms – namely pain, weakness, numbness, difficulty walking, and bowel and bladder dysfunction – which become progressively worse over time. If left untreated, cervical myelopathy can progress to paraplegia (inability to use the legs).
What happens when your spinal cord is compressed?
Spinal cord compression can occur anywhere from your neck (cervical spine) down to your lower back (very top of lumbar spine). Symptoms include numbness, pain, weakness, and loss of bowel and bladder control. Depending on the cause of the compression, symptoms may develop suddenly or gradually.
Why is spinal cord compression an emergency?
Spinal cord compression constitutes a true emergency because the initial injury to the spinal cord will lead to permanent loss of neurologic function if the pressure of the tumor on the cord is not relieved quickly.