Spinal tumors are abnormal cell masses that grow in the spinal area, either within the spinal column or surrounding the spine. Spinal tumors can be benign or malignant. The cause is often not known, but they can be caused by the spread of cancer in the body or due to a genetic condition. Early detection and treatment of spinal tumors are vital for the best outcome. At DOCS Health, our neurospine specialists offer the diagnosis of and treatment for spinal tumors at our medical center in Los Angeles.
Spinal tumors can affect people of any age and occur in all areas of the spine. Tumors can grow in cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacrum areas of the spine and inside or outside the spinal cord. Spinal tumors can be primary in nature, meaning they originate in the spine or spinal cord. They can also be secondary, a result of cancer spreading from another area. The most common cancers to spread to the spine are breast, lung and prostate, but others like lymphoma, melanoma and thyroid cancer can also spread to the spine.
Symptoms of Spinal Tumors
Many spinal tumors have few, if any, symptoms in the early stages. Benign primary spinal tumors, like vertebral hemangiomas, rarely cause pain or other symptoms. However, the main symptom of spinal tumors is localized pain in the neck or back. This is non-mechanical pain that is not caused by an injury and usually will not respond to conservative pain management treatments like NSAIDs, heat/ice or other therapies. As spinal tumors grow, they can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, resulting in other symptoms:
- Loss of balance or difficulty walking
- Loss of sensation in limbs
- Muscle weakness in limbs
- Loss of bowel or bladder function
- Paralysis in some areas of the body
- Loss of sensitivity to heat, cold or pain
Treatment for spinal tumors depends on the age of the patient, the location of the tumor and the type of tumor. There are many variables that must be considered before the tumor can be removed through surgery or other methods.
If you have symptoms of a spinal tumor, it is vital to seek diagnosis and treatment. Our exceptional team of combined orthopedic and neurosurgical specialists offer advanced options for spinal tumor treatment at our medical center in Los Angeles – contact DOCS Health to schedule an appointment.