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.
What cancers cause 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.
Is spinal cord compression fatal?
Spinal cord compression. 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.
What is the life expectancy of spinal cancer?
The median survival times for groups 1e3 were 2.1, 5.5 and 24.9 months, respectively (P < 0.001). The spine is one of the most common sites of metastases . Survival of patients with spinal metastases ranges from a few weeks to several years .
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).
Who is at risk of spinal cord compression?
Who is at risk? Around 3 to 5 in 100 people (3 to 5%) with cancer develop spinal cord compression. Almost any type of cancer can spread to the spine.
How does spinal cord compression?
Spinal cord compression occurs when a mass places pressure on the cord. A mass can include a tumor or bone fragment. Compression can develop anywhere along the spinal cord from the neck to the lower spine.
Does spinal cord compression affect the brain?
For some, it leads to compression of the spinal cord which can cause problems with dexterity, numbness in the hands, and the ability to walk. New research looks beyond the spinal cord injury in these patients, and found they also experience changes in the motor cortex of the brain.