What is metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC)?
MSCC happens when cancer cells that have spread from the prostate grow in or near to the spine and press on the spinal cord. You might hear it called malignant spinal cord compression or spinal cord compression.
The spinal cord is a long, thin bundle of nerves and other cells. It runs from your brain down through your spine. The nerves carry messages between your brain and all parts of the body. These messages allow you to move and to feel things like heat, cold, touch or pain. They also help control body temperature and how your internal organs work.
Cancer cells pressing on the spinal cord can cause problems with how these messages are carried. This can cause a range of symptoms that can get worse if left untreated. For example, you may be less able to walk and move around.
At its worst, MSCC can cause nerve damage and even paralysis. This could mean you can’t walk or use your arms or legs normally. Remember, there are treatments available and getting treatment straight away can lower the risk of this happening, or of it being permanent.