Chiropractic Management of a Patient With Breast Cancer Metastases to the Brain and Spine: A Case Report

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SOURCE:   J Can Chiropr Assoc 2015 (Sep);   59 (3):   269–278 ~ FULL TEXT

Ismat Kanga, BSc, DC, FCCS(C) 1 and Igor Steiman, MSc, DC, FCCS(C) 2

1 Private Practice,
Mumbai, India.

2 Professor, Division of Undergraduate Studies,
Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College,
Toronto, Ontario

Cancers of the breast, kidney, lungs, prostate and thyroid metastasize to the musculoskeletal system in the majority of patients with malignancy. This report chronicles the case of a 65-year-old female with a known history of breast cancer who presented to a chiropractic clinic. Once metastasis was ruled out as the cause of her complaint, the patient was treated with manual therapies and exercises. As the patient’s treatments progressed and her pain improved, she presented with a new complaint of ‘pressure’ in her head. Advanced imaging revealed metastasis to the brain and subsequently to the spine. The aim of this case is to heighten awareness of the presentation of metastasis to the brain and the spine in a chiropractic patient, and to demonstrate the benefit of chiropractic care in the management of such patients.

KEYWORDS:   brain metastases; breast cancer; chiropractic; chiropractic care; spinal metastases

From the FULL TEXT Article:


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Cancer and Chiropractic Page

Tumours of the breast, lung, kidney, prostate and thyroid metastasize to the skeletal system in approximately 70% of cancer patients. [1] With newer developments in cancer treatments, incidence of metastases to the spine and other organs such as lungs, liver and brain is increasing along with survival. [2] Patients with a history of cancer often present to chiropractic clinics with neuromusculoskeletal symptoms. A survey of patients with early stage breast cancer found that 28.1% of patients seek alternative medicine along with their standard therapy, including acupuncture, chiropractic and massage therapy. [3] Twelve to twenty percent of patients present with back pain or headaches, often as the initial presentation of symptomatic spinal metastasis. [2, 4]

This case report describes the chiropractic management of a patient with a known history of breast cancer, which metastasized. The patient presented to the clinic with pain in the neck and low back, and with a history of breast cancer with metastasis to the lungs. As the patient’s cancer progressed she then developed metastasis to the liver, brain and spine. This case report highlights metastases to the spine, and describes their clinical presentation and concurrent chiropractic management; and metastasis to the central nervous system, which may manifest as headaches, a symptom commonly presented at chiropractic practices.

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