Spine tumors are abnormal growths that can form anywhere in and along your spinal column, including your vertebrae, spinal cord, and the tissues surrounding your spinal cord. However, not all spine tumors are cancerous.
Englewood spine tumors specialists have extensive expertise in several complex surgical procedures. They help ensure a successful outcome and offer patient-focused support before, during, and after treatment.
Understanding spine tumors
Spine tumors are unusual growths of cells within or surrounding your spinal cord or column. Your spine is a long, flexible column of bones that protects your spinal cord.
Spinal tumors can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). These growths can either originate in the spine (primary tumor) or may spread (metastasis) from another area (secondary tumor).
Cancers that metastasize to the spine include:
- Lung cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Breast cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Thyroid cancer
- Kidney cancer
Types of spine tumors
There are several types of spinal tumors, some of which include:
- Spinal hemangioma
Symptoms associated with spine tumors
Back pain is the most common symptom of benign and malignant spinal tumors.
Other symptoms include:
- Radiating pain to the hips, legs, and feet
- Numbness or tingling sensation
- Decreased sensitivity to heat and cold
- Muscle weakness in the legs, arms, or chest
- Muscle spasms
- Stiff neck or back
- Bowel incontinence
- Urinary incontinence
- Difficulty walking
- Balance issues
Diagnostic criteria for spine tumors
In addition to physical and neurological exams, your doctor may advise the following tests:
- Blood tests
- Imaging tests
- Spine X-rays
- CT scan
- Bone scan
Spinal tumor treatment
Treatment for spinal tumors depends on the type, location, and metastasis.
Treatment for primary tumors
- Surgical removal of the tumor: Through complete en bloc resection
Treatment for secondary tumors
- Chemotherapy: Using drugs to destroy the cancer cells
- Radiation therapy: High-energy radiations (X-rays) are targeted to destroy cancer cells
- Stereotactic radiosurgery: Delivers precise radiation beams to kill cancer cells
- Surgery: Chemotherapy and radiation therapy-resistant tumors are surgically removed, followed by reconstruction
- Periodic monitoring: Helpful for slow-growing tumors without any debilitating symptoms
Learning that you have a spine tumor can be scary and distressing. However, knowing the signs and symptoms can help you approach a healthcare professional for further evaluation. This facilitates the doctor to design a customized treatment plan to improve your quality of life.
Regular cancer screenings are essential to detect tumors at an early stage. Early diagnosis can pave the way for prompt and successful treatment.