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A Quick Tip To Help With Pain If You Have A Spine/Back Met (Worse At Night)

NewHere's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Feb 2015

In my continuing effort to find every less common version of my cancer - from genetic mutations to metastsis patterns that are "weird,"  I decided to try out a tumor in my lower back that went into my spine Laughing  (And yes the location of where in the spine it decided to show up is a rarer spot.)

Kidding aside, this tumor came out of nowhere and grew real quickly.  2cM in a month or so.  Went through radiation treatments, finished about two weeks ago.  The pain is very positional.  And got pretty bad at night.  Which turns out to be a common thing for spinal tumors - pain increases at night.  (I am not an outlier on this aspect Laughing)  

There are a few theories as to why it is worse at night, and positioning at night seems to be one of them.  I tried lying on my side, which helped a bit and various other things.  It was bad enough that I took pain killers for three days in a row just to get any sleep - something I had not done even after the colon resection and lung wedge.  

Anyway, after reading some things, and coming to the realization that I was missing the obvious all along - my Homer Simpson "D'oh" moment - last night I adjusted just a bit to avoid being totally horizontal.  Propped the pillow up so my head was a bit higher and not flat on my back.  No pain.  It seems that lying flat may relax muscles a bit and/or positions things in such a way that the tumor may press more and cause the pain.  

It was not quite as comfortable a position as normal sleeping position, but I got a ton more sleep with no pain and no need for pain killers.  I am considering getting a reclining chair depending on how things go and whether the pain resolves or not.  

Anyway, if you run into this, try not being fully horizontal.  

Posts: 163
Joined: Apr 2017

i have my met back issues, I’ll give it a shot, thanks. 

NewHere's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Feb 2015

It really helped me a lot.

JanJan63's picture
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

The mets are colon cancer? How common is this? I've never heard of it before. Ugh, cancer, how fun it is to find out all the additonal crap that goes with it...


NewHere's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Feb 2015

Colon cancer, 99% sure.  They did not biopsy this one though.  I had radiation treatments a couple of weeks ago and back on chemo last week.  Will be getting a scan in a couple of months to see how it goes and if it works.  The prior lung met was a colon cancer met per biopsy. The lymph nodes are colon cancer per biopsy.  (They grew large enough for a needle biopsy for a drug trial).  

I have seen various reports, including this one, which indicates 

Up to 5 [sic], 5% of all CRC patients have bone metastasis at the time of initial diagnosis and up to 27% will develop bone metastasis during the course of their disease [2, 5, 6]; the most common localization of bone metastases is the vertebral column [8]. 

Though certain types are about 1-2%  I have also seen a range on location.  That report indicates throacic and lumbar about the same, though others indicate lumbar rather rare.  

Some more numbers in this 

Traditionally, colon cancer is not thought to metastasize to bone, unlike breast, prostate, or lung cancers.

Based on the literature, colorectal cancer rarely metastasizes to the bone. Chart review studies of medical or autopsy records have reported that 2%-24% of colorectal cancer cases have bony metastases, with only 1%-2% of colorectal cancer cases having isolated skeletal metastasis

But yeah, cancer really has a tendency to foist additional crap. 

SandiaBuddy's picture
Posts: 1163
Joined: Apr 2017

Colon cancer, the gift that keeps on giving.  I have my share of back troubles.  Hopefully they are of the standard kind.  I did find that switching beds helped a bit.

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