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Spinal cord compression - Canadian Cancer Society
Virginia St. Box , Milwaukee, Wisconsin Toggle navigation. Spinal Tumor. Spinal tumors are growths inside or near your spinal cord or the bones of your spine. They can be cancerous or noncancerous.
There are three types of spinal tumors, based on where they grow:. Spinal tumors have different symptoms, depending on their location and type.
Spinal Tumor Treatment
Radiating back pain is a common symptom of both cancerous and noncancerous spinal tumors. But many people have back pain, so doctors usually look for other symptoms, including:. To diagnose a spinal tumor, your doctor may order tests, such as:. Treatment Options. If your tumor is small and noncancerous, your doctor may suggest simply monitoring it for changes. If abnormal cells have spread to the spine from a cancerous tumor in another part of the body, this is called a secondary tumor or a metastasis. Benign spinal tumors are non-cancerous. They are always primary tumors that is, they start in the spine and they do not spread into and invade the tissue surrounding them in the same way as malignant tumors.
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Benign tumors can grow to a considerable size, creating pressure on and damaging the tissue surrounding them in the spine. Benign spinal tumors usually occur inside the membrane surrounding the spinal cord and nerves the dura. Tumors within the dura are called intradural tumors. Benign spinal tumors are not often found in the bones of the spine the vertebrae.
Consequently, they rarely disturb the strength of the bone structure of the spine. We do not yet know with any certainty what causes primary spinal tumors and we do not know why some are benign andsome are malignant.
Spinal Cord Tumor Symptoms
Secondary spinal tumors are always caused by a cancerous tumor in another part of the body. Clear risk factors have not been established for spinal tumors in the way that, for instance, smoking has been established as a clear risk factor for lung cancer. No, there are no warning signs before the onset of symptoms.
Some benign tumors grow very slowly over several years and can reach a large size before they are detected.
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Malignant tumors tend to grow more quickly and will usually have been present for a shorter time when they are discovered. The onset of symptoms does not tell us how long the tumor has been there or whether it is benign or malignant. Depending on the location and type of spinal tumor, various signs and symptoms can develop, especially as a tumor grows and affects your spinal cord or on the nerve roots, blood vessels or bones of your spine. Spinal tumor symptoms may include:.
Imaging features of primary spinal osseous tumors and their value in clinical diagnosis
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. In general, cancerous spinal tumors grow more quickly, whereas noncancerous spinal tumors tend to develop very slowly. But because early diagnosis and treatment are important for spinal tumors, see your doctor about your back pain if:. The aim of surgery is to remove the tumor without damaging the spinal cord or the nerves surrounding the tumor.
What We Offer You for Spine Tumors
Surgery is most commonly used to treat benign spinal tumors but it might be used to treat some malignant tumors. Surgery is not suitable for everybody and you might be advised against it because of the risks associated with your individual situation.
go to link Your medical team will discuss the best treatment options with you. The surgery is carried out by a neurosurgeon who specializes in surgery of the brain and spine.