New MSCC alert cards available

The LCA has revised its alert cards for metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC), which is a recognised medical emergency. Left undiagnosed or untreated, MSCC has a serious impact on both function and life expectancy.

In 2008, NICE produced guidelines about the management of MSCC, including the need to inform people who are at risk of developing MSCC about its symptoms and what to do if they develop. As a result, in 2012 the LCA MSCC Group developed alert cards for at risk patients. The revised version includes information that is more reflective of newer evidence, and input from patient representatives has ensured that the language used is clear and factual.

The alert cards are credit card sized so that they can be carried at all times and can be used to help non-cancer specialists, such as GPs or A&E physicians, to consider an MSCC diagnosis. 

The cards have been distributed to hospitals across the LCA, and should be provided along with more comprehensive patient leaflets to those considered at risk of MSCC as a result of their previous cancer diagnosis.

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