Spine Tumor

A spinal tumor is an abnormal mass of tissue within or surrounding the spinal cord and/or spinal column. These cells grow and multiply uncontrollably, seemingly unchecked by the mechanisms that control normal cells. Spinal tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Symptoms

Depending on the location and type of spinal tumor, different signs and symptoms can develop, especially as a tumor grows and affects your spinal cord, surrounding nerves or blood vessels. Signs and symptoms of tumors affecting the spinal cord may include:

  • Back pain, sometimes radiating to other parts of your body
  • Loss of sensation, especially in your arms or legs
  • Difficulty walking, sometimes leading to falls
  • Decreased sensitivity to pain, heat and cold
  • Loss of bowel or bladder function
  • Muscle weakness that may occur in varying degrees and in different parts of your body, depending on which nerves or part of the spinal cord is compressed

Back pain is a common early symptom of both noncancerous and cancerous spinal tumors. Pain may also spread beyond your back to your hips, legs, feet or arms and may become more severe over time in spite of treatment.

Spinal tumors progress at different rates. In general, cancerous spinal tumors grow more quickly, and noncancerous spinal tumors tend to develop very slowly.

Treatments

Monitoring- Some spinal tumors may be discovered before they cause symptoms — often when you're being evaluated for another condition.

Surgery-This is often the treatment of choice for tumors that can be removed with an acceptable risk of spinal cord or nerve injury damage.

Radiation therapy-This may be used to eliminate the remnants of tumors that remain after surgery, to treat inoperable tumors or to treat those tumors where surgery is too risky.

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)-This method of delivering radiation is capable of delivering a high dose of precisely targeted radiation.

Chemotherapy.-A standard treatment for many types of cancer, chemotherapy uses medications to destroy cancer cells or stop them from growing.

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