Publication - Advice and guidance

Scottish referral guidelines for suspected cancer: quick reference guide

Published: 22 Jan 2019
Directorate:
Community Health and Social Care Directorate
Part of:
Health and social care
ISBN:
9781787815292

User-friendly visual aid to the urgent referral criteria as well as routine referral criteria and primary care management and good practice points.

50 page PDF

3.0 MB

50 page PDF

3.0 MB

Contents
Scottish referral guidelines for suspected cancer: quick reference guide
Malignant Spinal Cord Compression

50 page PDF

3.0 MB

Malignant Spinal Cord Compression

Urgent suspicion of cancer referral for patients with known cancer (particularly prostate, breast, lung or multiple myeloma)

  • People with a history of cancer and any of the following symptoms:
  • significant localised back pain, especially thoracic
  • severe, progressive pain or poor response to medication
  • spinal pain aggravated by straining (for example, at stool, or coughing or sneezing)
  • nocturnal spinal pain, especially if preventing sleep
  • radicular pain (for example, round chest, down front or back of thighs)
  • limb weakness or difficulty in walking
  • sensory loss (including perineal or saddle paraesthesia)
  • bladder or bowel dysfunction

All Scottish cancer networks have developed locally agreed MSCC pathways. More information is available via the Scottish Palliative Care Guidelines website:
https://www.palliativecareguidelines.scot.nhs.uk/guidelines/palliative-emergencies/malignant-spinal-cord-compression.aspx

Malignant Spinal Cord Compression

Good Practice

  • A normal neurological examination does not preclude epidural disease or evolving MSCC
  • The definitive method of investigation is MRI of the whole spine
  • All patients with bone metastasis, or considered by their clinician to be at high risk of developing MSCC, should be given written guidance on early symptoms with advice to contact a health care professional promptly. This information should also be sent to the GP
  • Written information on early symptoms should also be given to patients following treatment for MSCC

Contact

Email: Cancer Access Team