What Are the Symptoms of Cancer in the Lower Back?


Quick Answer

Severe back pain is a common symptom of cancer in the back, states Spine-health. This can result when a tumor forms along the spine, expanding or weakening the surrounding bone in addition to causing fractures, compression of nerves and/or spinal instability.

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Full Answer

Spinal tumors are also associated with neck pain and neurological problems, according to Spine-health. Neurological problems include weakness or numbness in limbs, impaired muscle control, and disruption of normal bowel or bladder habits. Spastic movements such as twitching are also signs of neurological problems. Pain resulting from a spinal tumor is often worse in the morning and evening hours and usually increases in severity when directly manipulated or compressed. This pain typically does not improve with rest or pain medication. Concurrent symptoms of a spinal tumor or cancer also include loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills or shakes.

Most spinal tumors spread to the back from another area of the body, says Spine-health. Rarely do spinal tumors or cancer originate on the spine itself. Patients who already have cancer should be more cognizant of back pain or neurological difficulties due to the risk of cancer metastasizing. These patients should contact their doctor for immediate evaluation if they experience back pain.

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