|2nd Cancer Opinion
provides opinions regarding Breast, lung, colon,
prostate and ovarian cancers, lymphomas, melanomas, and other solid
|*1st 1/2 hour
session is at no additional charge.
Side Effects of
Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Incontinence - Urinary
Dryness of the Mouth
Fluid and Electrolyte Imbalances
Nausea & Vomiting
Spinal Cord Compression
Shortness of Breath
Sleep Problems (Insomnia/Oversleeping)
|Spinal Cord Compression
Symptom and Description Spinal cord
compression is a rare but serious problem of cancer. It is
caused by pressure of a tumor on the spinal cord (the bundle of
nerves running inside the backbone to the brain). If treatment
is not begun early, then serious injury to the spinal cord can
occur. When it occurs, it can affect people with cancers of the
lung, breast, prostate, and other cancers that may spread to the
bone, as well as multiple myeloma and lymphoma.
Learning Needs You should notify your doctor or nurse
immediately if you have any changes in your condition or if any
of the following occur:
- Pain in your back, which may move to the side. The pain
may be worse when you lie down, cough, sneeze, or move.
- Numbness, tingling, ‘‘loss of feeling’’ in toes or
- Weakness in your legs or a change in the way you walk.
- Change in your bowel or urinary habits, such as
constipation or being unable to empty your bladder.
- Loss of control of bowel or bladder (incontinence).
Prevention While it is not possible to prevent spinal
cord compression, it is possible to prevent it from getting
worse. The most important thing you can do is to tell your
doctor or nurse immediately if any of the above symptoms occur.
If you cannot reach your doctor or nurse, go to the emergency
room of your hospital, tell them that you have cancer, and tell
them that you have been taught that this may be an emergency.
Management If you develop these symptoms, your doctor
will examine you carefully. Your doctor may then order X-ray
films to help evaluate the pain and may also order a bone scan.
Your doctor will order a test (MRI scan or CAT scan) if it
appears that you have this problem; these tests will show
whether there is something pressing against your spinal cord. If
the tests show that you have spinal cord compression, your
doctor will talk to you about treatment. Early treatment has
been shown to prevent serious problems.
Follow-up Your doctor may order rehabilitation and
physical therapy to minimize loss of function.