Everything about developing Spinal Cord compression as a complication for cancer

Everything about developing Spinal Cord compression as a complication for cancer

July 20, 2020


How common is this problem?

Statics are different, but around 5 to 10 percent of people are going to develop the issue of spinal cord compression. As compared to the past, people can live for a longer time and the numbers are expected to rise in the future. Additionally, the newer treatments are focusing on preventing bone metastases from occurring in the first place and for a better treatment plan, you need to contact the best surgeon for effective spine surgery in Ludhiana.


Cancer leads to Spinal Cord Compression

Spinal cord compression can be a complication for different cancer type but the most common ones are lung cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. Additional adult cancer often linked with the condition include myeloma, lymphomas, kidney cancer, digestive tract cancer, genitourinary cancers, and thyroid cancer. In the case of children, the spinal cord compression mostly occurs with neuroblastomas and sarcomas.


What are the signs and symptoms?

The signs and symptoms linked with spinal cord compression can increase gradually or occur abruptly. There are different potential symptoms and the most common one which is extremely worse is back pain with someone who has cancer.

  • Back pain and neck pain gets worse
  • Arms or leg weakness
  • Numbness of pins and needle sensation in legs or arms
  • Bowel or bladder problems
  • Band-like feeling around the abdomen or chest


What are the causes and risk factors?

Malignant spinal cord compression is usually caused by cancers which can spread to the bones such as:

  • Breast cancer with bone metastases.
  • Lung cancer with bone metastases

Most commonly, there is a risk of them getting spread to the bones. Around 70 percent of people with metastatic cancer have bone metastases. Their occurrence is common in women who have the issue of invasive ductal carcinomas.

In comparison to all the cancer types, the risk of spinal cord compression is higher for aggressive tumors and there is diagnosis is done at the advanced stage of the disease.



The diagnosis is done with a high index of suspicion and back pain is evaluated in the person who has cancer. Initially, medical history is checked and cancer diagnosis is done along with checking the signs & symptoms.




Once the spinal cord compression is suspected, the doctor will make you lie flat on the back till the time further testing is done to prevent further damage. It might be possible that the cervical collar or back brace is used.


Radiation Therapy

The surgeon might suggest the external beam radiation therapy which can be given after surgery, first-line treatment, or daily for a week or two. Similar results are given with proton beam therapy. For small areas of tumors, the radiation therapy named as stereotactic body radiotherapy can be used.