Epidemiology and etiology

Around 20,000 cancer patients experience spinal cord compression in the United States every year, most of which involves the thoracic spine (approximately 70%). Cancers that inherently metastasize to the bone (i.e., breast, prostate, and lung) are the most frequent underlying malignancies associated with this complication. Most spinal cord compression occurs in patients with a known malignancy; however 8% to 34%

of cases occur as the initial presentation of cancer, especially in patients with non-

Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and lung cancer.

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