Is My back Pain Spine Cancer

Is My back Pain Spine Cancer?

March 14, 2020


Lower back pain is a very common and rare sign of cancer. But, in some cases, the back pain is related to ovarian, colorectal or spinal cancer. According to research, around 80% of people will experience back pain in their lifetime. In this guide, we have shared information whether back pain is linked to spine cancer.


People with severe back pain, often wonder whether back pain is the sign of spinal cancer or not. In most cases, back pain is not linked to tumors or cancer. But, you must consult the spine surgeon and understand the exact reason for back pain. In case, if your condition is very severe then the doctor will recommend spine surgery

*Note: Tumors that grow within the vertebrae make the bones weak and they can collapse & break. 

Types of Spinal Tumors

The spinal tumor is an abnormal cell growth within the spinal column. The tumors can be noncancerous and cancerous. The cancerous tumor is made of abnormal cells that divide and they spread through the lymphatic system or blood. Given below are the types of spinal tumor:


  • Primary tumors 

It starts from the spinal column and most of them are noncancerous, whereas few of them can be cancerous.


  • Secondary tumors

This type of tumor spreads to the spine from other body parts. It is also known as metastatic tumors. Around 90% of the cases of spinal cancer are metastatic.

Spinal cancer classification is also done by whether the spinal cord is outside, within the spinal cord, or the protective covering of the spinal cord.

What does spinal cancer pain feel like?

If the back pain is caused by cancerous spinal cancer, it can be like:

  • Pain can get worse with time.
  • Rest does not help the person and the pain can increase at night.
  • It can leave shock-like pain in the back which can reach the chest, legs, or some other body part.

Some other signs & symptoms can trigger back pain from cancer which includes weight loss, nausea, fever, or chills.

How does spinal cancer trigger back pain?

A spinal tumor can cause back pain due to:

  • Bones expand or become weak.
  • The vertebrae can get fractured easily.
  • The spinal nerve root or spinal root gets compressed
  • Spinal Instability

Occurrence of Cancerous Spinal tumor

Spinal cancer is more common after the age of 50. The growth of spinal cancer tumor is going to depend on its type. The tumor might be small in the spine or it can spread through the blood to other body parts. If you do not get the treatment at the right time then it can be life-threatening.

Seek medical help

If the back pain is persistent for a couple of weeks then get medical evaluation right away. Our doctor will help you get the right diagnosis to improve the quality of your life.

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