Probably the third big Kahuna has to do with cancer. We touched on this earlier elsewhere in this discussion and that is is that if you have a known cancer, it might be breast, might be lung, gastrointestinal, but start to have back pain. And the classic history is the back pain is slowly worse every night a little bit worse. Every day a little bit worse than the day before, over three weeks, four weeks. It's time for a study because especially if it's new onset back pain and you've never had back pain before, it could be a metastasis or spread of the tumor spread of the cancer to the spine and that's what's causing that particular back pain. People will often ask or or will say and well, gee, it's been 20 years since my breast cancer. One of the things that we often, I think many medical practitioners will say, once you've had breast cancer, you have to be alert the rest of your life. And it's an unfortunate thing because it can hang over like a sword of Damocles sort of something over your head all the time. But I think it's just smart to heed warnings. Think about things. Doesn't mean you have to lie awake nights, but at the same time, if you're presenting with back pain that just slowly is worse every night and every day need to think then, especially axial rate up and down, not much in the way of leg pain, then you need to be thinking, especially with the primary tumor somewhere else that's been taken out or just treated with radiation or chemo. Ooh, tumor might be somewhere else, might have metastasized.

Doctor Profile

Kurt Schroeder, MD


  • Certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery
  • Chief of Neurosurgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital
  • Former Chief of Surgery at Tucson Medical Center

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