The spine is the most common place 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).
For women spinal tumors are generally spread from cancer that originates in the breasts or lungs. While in men, the spinal tumors frequently spread from cancer which originates in the prostate or lungs.
Types of Spinal Tumors
- Vertebral Column Tumors
Primary: Occurring in the vertebral column, they usually grow from the bone or disc elements of the spine. Most common in young adults and teens. Known as osteogenic sarcoma thee are the most common malignant bone tumor. These are quite rare and are known to grow very slowly.Metastic Tumors: Spinal tumors are known to metastasize or spread from one area of the body to another. 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: Types of tumors that usually occur in the membranes around the spinal cord and are mostly benign, some of the worst cases however can become malignant. Generally, appearing 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 in the elder years
- Intramedullary Tumors
These tumors are known to grow from within the spinal cord and even within the individual nerves, often as a result of other cells which provide physical support as well as insulation to the nervous systems glial cells.
Despite being mostly benign they 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, physical therapy, 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.