Lumbar spine metastasis in a breast cancer survivor after twelve years of disease-free survival

Okwuoma Okwunodulu, Moses O. Inojie, Francis C. Campbell, Chika A. Ndubuisi, Samuel C. Ohaegbulam


Spine metastasis is a common occurrence in breast cancer. The median time of spine metastasis from the diagnosis of breast cancer is approximately 3 years. In this case report, a 55 years old woman presented with insidious onset and progressively worsening severe low back pain. Spine MRI revealed L4-S1 heterogeneous marrow signal changes with L5 vertebral body collapse. She had undergone surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy for breast cancer 12 years prior. Although she had not received any anticancer treatment for 12 years, but she has been on regular follow up with the oncology team with no clinical evidence of local tumour recurrence. She had laminectomy and biopsy and the histological diagnosis was metastatic adenocarcinoma from breast cancer. She had palliative external beam radiation therapy and systemic chemotherapy with improvement in Karnofsky performance. We present a case of dormant micro metastasis re-activated 12 years after perceived cure for breast cancer.


Spine metastasis, Breast cancer, Local tumour recurrence

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