Oncology (General Cancer)/spinal fluid loss


My sister(who is 66)just found out she has cancer. We are not sure what kind yet, but she was recently admitted to hospital because of the 80% loss of spinal fluid and a 5% lesion on her liver and a small growth on the back of her neck. They have moved her to the cancer ward in hospital. They are not sure of the cause yet, but I know they will be doing more tests. If its possible I would like to know a possible hypothetical cause and prognosis. Thank-you

If there is a growth on the back of her neck which is causing spinal fluid loss, that's a bad thing, especially of there is another lesion in the liver. The loss of spinal fluid means that the growth is invading the membrane around the spinal cord, which almost certainly means that this is a cancerous tumor of some sort, and it is in a dangerous place for surgery, even if it were the only mass involved.  With involvement of the liver, your doctors might try radiation treatment to control what's in the neck, but the treatment of the liver mass would depend on what the type of cancer is.  If all I know is what you've described, the type of cancer could be many different things, but a cancer arising from the lung seems to be high on my list.  Breast cancer, and rarely, cancers of the gastrointestinal tract might give this picture.  Please let me know what the tests show.  Hope this helps.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

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