Timely diagnosed cancer can be treated and can prevent recurrences from happening. Signs such as coughing should be noted, but one sign in particular, especially for breast cancer survivors, should be watched for. Sudden back or spinal pains can be an indication that the cancer has spread to the spine. When it comes to back pain, area and intensity of pain helps in determining the severity of the tumor. Local or biological pain is generally characterized as a persistent deep aching which isn’t triggered by any activity and gets worse at night. This kind of pain could be due to tumor growth or tumor induced inflammation. This kind of pain happens if a tumor has spread enough to cause compression and irritation of the nerve roots. Mechanical back pain due to breast cancer metastasis and causes spinal instability and is aggravated with movement and activity, or that puts a pressure on the spine, like during sitting. That is why back pain in cancer patients or survivors should be reported.
- Back pain can be a sign that cancer has spread to the spine.
- Breast cancer can reoccur in different parts of the body.
- The different ways back pain presents can point to different types of re-occurrence
“Mechanical pain is important to recognize as patients generally cannot find relief with medication or radiation therapy and often require bracing or surgical stabilization.”