The spine is one of the most commonplace in the body that tumors are found. These tumors originate from the spine itself or frequently may be tumors that have spread from other parts of the body (metastatic tumors). However, many tumors of the spine are benign and require no treatment.
For women, malignant spinal tumors are generally spread from cancer that originates in the breasts or lungs, while in men, the spinal tumors frequently spread from cancer that originates in the prostate or lungs.
Types of Spinal Tumors
- Vertebral Column Tumors
Primary: Growing from the vertebral column, usually from the bone or disc elements of the spine. Most common in young adults and teens; very rare.
Metastatic Tumors: Spinal tumors that have spread from another area of the body to the spine. They are generally very painful and are usually accompanied by other symptoms of serious illness such as weight loss, fever, nausea, or vomiting.
- Intradural-Extramedullary Tumors
These tumors grow from within the spinal canal outside of the nerves. They also are known to cause a lot of pain and weakness, yet they are usually benign.
- Meningiomas: These usually occur in the membranes around the spinal cord and are usually benign, although some can become malignant. Generally, these appear in older women from middle age to the elder years.
- Nerve Sheath Tumors: These tumors arise from the nerve roots. Despite being mostly benign, they tend to interfere with nerve connectivity and can cause neurological issues.
- Intramedullary Tumors
These tumors are known to grow from within the spinal cord and even within the individual nerves.
Despite being mostly benign they may occur in a sensitive area of the neck and are quite difficult to remove.
- Back or neck pain that prevents you from sleeping.
- Constant pain, even while resting.
- Symptoms of spinal cord or nerve compression.
- Weight loss and chronic fatigue
Treatment of Spine Tumors involves the coordinated care from several types of physicians including Oncologists and Spinal Surgeons. Treatment options include radiation, chemotherapy, medications and surgery.
Treatment decisions are based on the type of tumor present and its location. If you are suffering from pain in the spine or an MRI reveals the presence of a spinal tumor, be sure to contact Comprehensive Spine Care immediately.