What is the prognosis when cancer spreads to the spine?
Median survival of patients with spinal metastatic disease is 10 months. Spinal metastasis is one of the leading causes of morbidity in cancer patients. It causes pain, fracture, mechanical instability, or neurological deficits such as paralysis and/or bowel and bladder dysfunction.
How bad is cancer in the spine?
Spinal tumors or growths of any kind can lead to pain, neurological problems and sometimes paralysis. A spinal tumor can be life-threatening and cause permanent disability. Treatment for a spinal tumor may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or other medications.
What type of cancer metastasizes to the spine?
Cancers that commonly metastasize to the spine include lung, breast, prostate, melanoma, kidney, and thyroid cancers.
What happens if cancer spreads to the spine?
When cancer spreads to the bones of the spine, it can press on the spinal cord. This can cause nerve damage that may lead to paralysis if not treated right away. As too much bone dissolves, calcium is released into the blood. This can lead to problems caused by high blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia).
How long can you live with metastatic spine cancer?
In general, only 10% to 20% of patients with spinal metastases are still alive two years after these metastases are diagnosed.
Where does spinal cancer usually start?
The most common primary spine tumor (originated in the bony spine) is vertebral hemangiomas. These are benign lesions and rarely cause symptoms such as pain. Common primary cancers that spread to the spine are lung, breast and prostate.
How long can you live with Stage 4 spinal cancer?
Those diagnosed in stage 4 who decide against treatment live an average of 6 months. Researchers use tumor grading to estimate how fast a tumor may grow. Cell abnormalities and how rapidly the cancer cells are dividing play a role in overall tumor growth. These factors are associated with survival.
Is metastatic spine cancer curable?
In patients with many spinal metastases, a chance for cure is unfortunately unlikely. However, spinal metastases can be controlled, either temporarily or indefinitely, with treatments such as surgical resection, stereotactic radiosurgery, fractionated radiation and chemotherapy.
What happens once cancer has metastasized?
In metastasis, cancer cells break away from where they first formed (primary cancer), travel through the blood or lymph system, and form new tumors (metastatic tumors) in other parts of the body. The metastatic tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor.