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  1. No-one told me about metastatic spinal cord compression. I want to warn men with advanced prostate cancer about the risk of metastatic spinal cord compression so that you don't end up like me. What is metastatic spinal cord compression? This happens when cancer cells grow in or near to your spine and press on your spinal cord. It's not common, but it is important that you’re aware of the risk, what symptoms to look out for and how to get help. What is my risk of developing metastatic spinal cord compression? You need to be aware of it if you have prostate cancer that has spread to your bones or has a high chance of spreading to your bones. Your risk of metastatic spinal cord compression is highest if your prostate cancer has already spread to your spine. What are the symptoms of metastatic spinal cord compression? Prostate Cancer UK has published an excellent fact sheet on metastatic spinal cord compression. The symptoms of metastatic spinal cord compression are listed in this fact sheet. Click here to read the Prostate Cancer UK fact sheet on metastatic spinal cord compression. [If that link has stopped working, go to prostatecanceruk.org and use the Search box to search for: spinal cord ] What should I do if I get symptoms of metastatic spinal cord compression? If you get any of the symptoms listed in the fact sheet, you should get medical advice straight away. Don’t wait to see if your symptoms get better and don’t worry if it’s an inconvenient time, such as the evening or weekend. The sooner you have treatment, the lower the risk of long-term problems. Take the Prostate Cancer UK fact sheet with you to the doctor or hospital as many doctors are not aware of metastatic spinal cord compression. My story I had metastatic prostate cancer which had spread to my spine. I was living at home. I was able to walk and drive a car. On 16 December 2017 I contacted my medical oncologist with symptoms of metastatic spinal cord compression. He admitted me to hospital immediately. It was too late in the day to get an MRI done at that hospital so I was transferred to another hospital for an emergency MRI during the evening. I saw the neurosurgeon at 9am the next morning and he operated on me at 1pm that afternoon. Despite the operation, my knee and ankle muscles have been damaged. As a result I have limited mobility. I only stand for short periods and can only walk short distances with a walking frame. I need assistance in getting dressed. I need someone to wipe my backside when I have a shit. I use an electric wheelchair and get transported in Maxi Taxis (disability taxis). To get the nursing care that I need, I am now living in a nursing home where most of the other residents are elderly and demented. What a change in my quality of life in a very short period!! In hindsight, had I been aware of the symptoms and risk of metastatic spinal cord compression, I would have sought medical advice much earlier and received early treatment which most likely would have avoided the problems that I am now suffering. The purpose of my post is not seeking sympathy or complaining. It is what it is. The purpose of my post is to make other men with metastatic prostate cancer aware of the risk.
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