Back pain as a symptom of colon cancer


Colon cancer can manifest itself in the form of a variety of symptoms. In addition to digestive disorders, pain is the main symptom. In addition to the typical abdominal pain, this can also occur in the back area, for example. Reasons for this are on the one hand local tumorous growths that radiate into the back area due to the spatial proximity, and on the other hand metastases, which can be found primarily in the spine with bony involvement and can cause severe pain there.

Why Can Back Pain Be a Symptom of Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer often leads to pain, especially in the later course, which can occur in the back as well as the classic location in the abdominal area. Certain parts of the intestine are in close proximity to the back. Depending on the location and the extent of the tumorous changes and growths in colon cancer, this can lead to radiation in the area of ​​the back.

However, the more common reason for back pain in colorectal cancer is the presence of metastases in the spine. Colon cancer often spreads to the bones, especially the spine, in late stages. The bone metastases cause local compression of the spinal cord and fractures of the vertebral bodies, which can cause severe and usually difficult to bear pain.

Read more on the subject at:

  • Colon cancer pain
  • Burning in the lower back

What are metastases?

The most common cause of back pain as a symptom of colon cancer is metastasis in the spine. A metastasis is the transfer of cells and tissue from the tumor to another location in the body. In principle, this can affect any organ in the body. The metastasis often occurs along lead structures. These are most of the lymph ducts (= lymphogenic metastasis) or vessels (= hematogenous metastasis). Depending on the way in which it spreads, the metastasis can either be in direct spatial proximity to the original starting point of the tumor or be far away from it.

A metastasis in a tumor disease is always a sign of an advanced course. If metastases are found during examinations, advice must be given as to which therapeutic options exist. Unfortunately, these are usually only very limited at a later stage of the tumor.

Read more on the subject at: Metastases in colon cancer

What other accompanying symptoms can occur?

In the case of colon cancer, there are unfortunately no particularly noticeable symptoms in the early stages of the disease. In addition to back pain, bowel cancer also has digestive disorders and changes in bowel movements. Depending on the location, this can manifest itself in constipation or diarrhea. The amount of stool can also change and so-called “pencil stools” are common. Another possible change in stool is the addition of blood, bloody deposits or mucus.

For many people, colon cancer leads to a general loss of performance, fatigue and a loss of energy. You may also experience a fever, weight loss, and night sweats. The latter can be so pronounced that your pajamas have to be changed at night. For colorectal cancer in the colon (Colon cancer) hemorrhoids also develop more frequently.

Read more on the subject at: Colon cancer symptoms

The treatment

Various therapy options are available for treating back pain in colorectal cancer. The most important point, however, is the treatment of colon cancer. This can namely proliferate in intestinal areas that are in close proximity to the spine. With neoadjuvant chemotherapy, i.e. chemotherapy given before the operation, a reduction in tumor tissue can be achieved. This is followed by the surgical removal of the tumor. Over time, the back pain should also subside.

If there are metastases in the spine, depending on the number and location, a check is made to see whether they are operable. If this is not the case, patients are given chemotherapy drugs. If the treatment is successful, the pain disappears here too.

Depending on your physical condition, you can try to do sports to strengthen your back muscles. Special exercises from physiotherapy are suitable for this, or swimming and cycling are recommended. Special massages with herbal oils can relieve tension and relieve pain.

In addition to these options, the pain can also be treated with medication. Various pain relievers, such as diclofenac, can be given. Creams like the Voltaren pain gel or the Kytta® pain ointment can also help. However, the pain relievers only treat the symptoms and lead to a short-term improvement. If you want to treat back pain successfully, you should fight colon cancer.

Find out more about the topic here: Colon cancer therapy.

The duration

No precise information can be given about the duration of the pain. It depends on the stage of the cancer and the success of the therapy. However, it can be said that the pain will improve if the treatment is successful.

Nothing general can be said about the prognosis either. It depends largely on the stage of the disease and the response to therapy. In the early stages, the prognosis is quite good - the chances of recovery are high and, associated with this, the back pain will disappear. At an advanced stage, the attending physician can better assess the individual prognosis.

The course of the disease

Unfortunately, nothing definite can be said about the course of the disease. The course depends on the stage of the tumor and is therefore very variable. In an early stage, the pain should improve rapidly with treatment. At an advanced stage, the cancer may well have metastasized to the spine, causing the course and pain to lengthen. Under certain circumstances, the symptoms may even worsen.

Find out more about the topic here: The course of colon cancer.

Back pain after colon cancer surgery

In colon cancer surgery, depending on the size and spread of the tumor, attempts are made to remove as many of the cancer cells as possible. This can lead to pain after the operation, which can also radiate into the back area at the level of the operation. If the back pain persists for a longer period of time after the colon cancer operation, this should still be examined by a doctor, as it cannot be ruled out that there are metastases in the area of ​​the spine.

Further information

Further information on colorectal cancer can be found at the link:

  • Diagnosis and therapy of colon cancer
  • Colon cancer screening
  • Colon cancer pain
  • Metastases in colon cancer
  • Detect colon cancer
  • Blood in the stool