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Lung cancer spread to spine

14 Feb 2020 08:21

Please help my mum had pain in her legs that weakened to the point where she couldn't walk and she lost control of her bowels she was rushed to hospital she has tumours on top and bottom of spine and has had radiation.every day this week to try and shrink the tumours due to the spinal cord being compressed. They also found out she has lung cancer and is going for a biopsy today. She is 74 and has gone down hill so fast. I don't have a clue what the outcome will be like how long will she survive I am devastated 

Lung cancer spread to spine

14 Feb 2020 16:19 in response to jo1967

Hello jo1967 and thanks for posting, 

I am very sorry to learn about your mum and can appreciate that what has happened has been a huge shock. 

I don't think it is possible to say much about your mum's outlook just now. This is likely to depend on the type of lung cancer she has. It may also depend on what other treatments they can recommend. The radiotherapy she is having now is targeted to the bone where the cancer has spread, but to try and control the disease they would need to treat the cancer in the lung and anywhere else it may have spread to. To do this they usually need to give medicines that can travel around the body to reach cancer cells wherever they are.  Unfortunately, not everyone is fit enough to have some of these medicines. 

I think you know and I am sorry to say, that because your mum's cancer has spread, it isn't curable. When cancer can't be cured, the aim of treatment is to hold the disease for as long as possible to maintain or improve quality of life and control any symptoms.  Just now it is a waiting game to find out what the doctors think can be done.

Hopefully the radiotherapy will help with the spinal cord compression, but I don't know if your mum will recover from this completely, I think you will have to wait to see how things go over the next few weeks and I expect at some point she will be having physiotherapy. 

There is a lot of uncertainty with advanced cancer,  so it is often a question of taking things one step at a time. If you have the chance, try and talk to the hospital staff about your mum's condition. With her permission they should be happy to tell you as much as they know. 

Please give us a call if you want to talk anything over. We are here from Mon-Fri, 9-5 and the number to call is Freephone 0808 800 4040. 

Best wishes, 


Lung cancer spread to spine

19 Feb 2020 18:37 in response to jo1967

So sorry to hear about your mum. My mum is also 74 and has primary lung with mets to spine and liver. It was diagnosed a year and 2 months ago but the pain in her spine started about 6 months before that. She has none of the signs of lung cancer but the tumour on her spine is like your mums. She is in a lot of pain with weekend legs, more 1 than the other. She is struggling with her bowels too and has quite bad memory loss.

I like you am desperate for information on what to expect next as the pain is getting so bad that even morphine isn't touching it.   I have looked everywhere for other people's experiences with this, as in from start to finish the physical progression  of this so I have some idea of what to expect as time goes on. Will she become paralysed, will she become more confused,  is time short when we get to that stage. I have asked the doctors but they don't like to give examples of possibilities.

There must be similarities in progressing symptoms of others who have gone through this e.g stage markers, like in end of life but I have looked high and low to no avail. 

I know this does not give you any answers but I just wanted you to know that I am going through this too and my heart goes out to you xx