The first symptoms of cancer of the spine( lumbar, cervical, thoracic)

Spine cancer is recorded much less frequently than other forms of cancer. The tumor develops from the connective tissue, so it would be more correct to call it a sarcoma. But the essence of the problem does not change from the title. Insidious disease does not spare children and adults of different ages.

Why there is a tumor of the spinal column

Malignant tumor of the spine by origin happens:

  1. Primary - develops as an independent oncological disease.
  2. Secondary - appears as a result of metastasis from other organs.

In the first case, multiple myelomas and single plasmocytomas occur. The reasons for the occurrence are not exactly established. It is believed that this can be carcinogenic substances, chemical agents, ionizing radiation, some internal factors. The role of the immune system, heredity, the general reactivity of the organism plays a role.

The main cause of cancer of the spine is metastasis of tumor cells from the main focus of the disease. In this particular case, metastasis most often produces cancer of the prostate, breast, kidney.

Separated from the main node, tumor cells enter the spine in the following way:

  1. On the bloodstream with the blood flow( hematogenous pathway).
  2. Through the lymphatic system( lymphatic pathway).
  3. Mixed path with current and lymph, and blood.

Common signs of spinal tumors

The human spinal column consists of five sections: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, coccygeal. Malignant formation can appear in each of them. Unfortunately, the first symptoms of cancer resemble other diseases - osteochondrosis, spondylitis, inflammation, spinal hernias, sciatica and others. Therefore the patient does not hurry to the doctor and begins to be treated independently. It uses rubbing, warming compresses, hot water bottles. This only aggravates the course of the disease.

Signs of Manifestations of the disease
General Muscular weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite. The patient gradually loses weight, in the subsequent develops cachexia, anemia. There is a pain syndrome. The pains are temporary, then permanent. With the development of the disease become intolerable. In some cases, subfebrile temperature is possible.
Neurological When the tumor grows and the nerves and vessels are squeezed, paresis, paralysis of the upper and lower extremities are attached. There is muscle twitching, numbness, partial or total loss of sensitivity.

Some malignant tumors grow so slowly that the initial symptoms of the disease appear years later. Neoplasms are detected in the late stages, when metastases appear, severe pains do not disappear when conventional doses of painkillers are taken.

Not all tumor cells give metastases, most of them die. For the formation of metastases, the state of the spine itself is crucial. Favorable factors are the presence of inflammatory diseases, trauma, intoxication.

Symptoms of the disease depending on the location of the tumor

We advise you to read: chest chondrosis Symptoms of chondrosis of the thoracic spine

Symptoms of the cervical spine are caused by the location of the tumor near the brain, characterized by pronounced neurological manifestations. They are associated with the compression of the spinal cord in the cervical region and the violation of the outflow of cerebrospinal fluid. Characterized by:

  • with increased intracranial pressure with severe headache, dizziness, nausea and repeated vomiting, swallowing disorder;
  • paresis and subsequent paralysis of the upper and lower extremities, as well as intercostal muscles, independent breathing is impossible;
  • consciousness can be lost, a coma is developing.

The manifestations of the thoracic region are also caused by the effect of the tumor on the vessels and nerves of the spinal column. Characterized by a violation of the innervation of the internal organs under control - the heart, pleura, lungs, bronchi. An arrhythmia, a tachycardia can develop, there is a dyspnea. The tension of the pectoral muscles grows and can end with their paralysis.

The symptomatology of the lumbar region is associated with the effect of the tumor on the pelvic organs. First, urinary incontinence appears, the sexual function is upset. Later, uncontrolled defecation, paresis and paralysis of the lower limbs are attached.

The development of the disease depending on the stage

Like any form of a malignant tumor, the cancer of the spine in its development goes through 4 stages.

1 stage

Symptomatic of the disease is completely absent. The tumor only begins to grow due to uncontrolled reproduction of its own cells. And the growth of its autonomy, does not depend on the needs of the organism.

The earliest and most frequent sign of a spinal tumor is pain.

2 stage

Cells continue to actively multiply. Gradually formed tumor focus. Violation of the constancy of the composition of the internal environment of the body( hemostasis), violated carbohydrate and protein metabolism. At this time, there are general symptoms of the illness listed in the table - weakness, fatigue, fatigue. The appetite decreases, the person begins to lose weight. There are painful sensations in the affected area of ​​the spine.

Stage 3

Symptoms of spinal cancer continue to increase. There is the possibility of separating the tumor cells from the main node, entering them into the bloodstream, lymphatic ducts and settling in other organs. Metastases are formed. The third stage is characterized by relapses, the return of the disease after the surgery and conservative treatment of the tumor.

4 stage

Multiple metastases arise in different organs. The tumor expands, involves the spinal cord with a spinal cord in the pathological process. It compresses nerve endings and vessels, disrupting their function. The body of the vertebrae is deformed, their displacements, fractures are observed. The patient's condition worsens considerably. Pain becomes intolerable. Radical operations at this stage are impossible. The disease is practically not treatable.

Paradoxically, the development of spinal cancer directly depends on the presence in the body of other forms of the tumor, in particular prostate cancer, breast cancer, kidney. Timely diagnosis and treatment of these diseases will avoid metastases in the spine and prevent the emergence of insidious disease.

MRI of the spine
  • Reasons for
  • Common signs of spine tumors
  • Symptoms depending on the location of
  • The development of the disease depending on the stage