Secondary cancer of the spine occurs when a tumor spreads from another part of the body to the spine, states Spine-Health. It is unusual for a tumor to originate in the spine; more than 90 percent of spinal tumors are secondary tumors, advises The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Tumors in the breast, lung, kidney and prostate are most likely to metastasize, or spread, to the spine, explains The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. While some spinal tumors do not cause any symptoms, neck or back pain is the most common symptom. Numbness, tingling or weakness in the limbs, difficulty walking or maintaining balance, and issues with the bowels and bladder are other possible symptoms.