Call us 24/7

Spinal Cancer Patient leaning on brick wall Mobile version

Spinal cancer

Spinal cancer symptoms

The symptoms of spinal cancer depend on several factors, including the tumor type, size, location, as well as age and health history of the patient. Some common spinal cancer symptoms include pain, numbness, weakness and difficulty with urination.

The symptoms of spinal cancer may occur very slowly. Other times, they occur quickly, even over a matter of hours or days. Metastatic spinal tumors, which have spread to the spine from another location in the body, such as the prostate or kidneys, often progress quickly.

The most noticeable sign of spinal cancer is pain. Pain may come from the tumor's presence in the spinal column, pushing on sensitive nerve endings or causing spinal instability. When the spine is not lined up properly, other physically notable symptoms may result (e.g., changes in posture, Kyphosis or hunchback).

When the tumor presses on the spinal cord, symptoms may begin with numbness or tingling in the arms or legs. Next, patients may experience clumsiness, not knowing where their feet are, and difficulty with buttons or keys. As the disease progresses, spinal cancer symptoms may grow to include weakness, inability to move the legs and, eventually, paralysis.

Some common signs of spinal tumors may include:

  • Pain (back and/or neck pain, arm and/or leg pain)
  • Muscle weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
  • Difficulty walking
  • General loss of sensation
  • Difficulty with urination (incontinence)
  • Change in bowel habits (retention)
  • Paralysis to varying degrees
  • Spinal deformities
  • Pain or difficulty with standing

Next topic: What are the types of spinal cancer?