Spinal tumors are a rare condition, especially malignant or cancerous tumors. Less than 1% of Americans will experience a malignant spinal or brain tumor in their lifetime, but not all tumors are malignant. Tumors that occur in the spinal region can cause impairment, even if they are benign. There are primary spinal tumors that occur in or around the spinal column, and secondary tumors that spread from other areas of the body. At DOCS Health, we offer treatment for spinal tumors in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine at our facility in Los Angeles.
Spinal tumors that occur within or around the top seven vertebrae of the spine are considered cervical tumors. Like most spinal tumors, there are rarely symptoms early on in a cervical tumor. Most spinal tumors have few if any symptoms, and only exhibit symptoms when they begin pressing on nerves or the spinal cord. Cervical tumors may result in the following symptoms:
- Localized neck pain
- Weakness in the arms and hands
- Motor skill loss – both arms, hands, legs and gait
- Possible bladder/bowel incontinence
There are many different types of cervical tumors and symptoms can vary greatly, depending on the type and exact location.
The thoracic spine is the largest region with 12 vertebrae and expanding from the neck to below the ribcage. The thoracic spine is more susceptible to tumors due to its size and proximity to other common types of metastatic cancer like the lungs, breast, renal and lymphoma. The symptoms of thoracic tumors, both benign and malignant, are due to pressure on nerve roots or the spinal cord. These can include localized back pain, radiating pain around the ribcage, gait disruption, lower extremity weakness and bowel/bladder incontinence.
Spinal tumors in and around the lumbar spine can cause low back pain and may result in radiating pain, weakness and numbness into the buttocks and legs. If the tumor is pressing on certain nerves, it can impact sexual function, temperature sensitivity and other lower extremity sensations.
The best scenario for spinal tumor treatment and surgery is early diagnosis. At DOCS Health, our neuro-spine surgeon specialists have the experience and expertise to uncover the causes of spinal pain and other symptoms, including detecting spinal tumors. If you have symptoms of a cervical, thoracic or lumbar spinal tumor, contact us at our medical center in Beverly Hills to schedule an exam and consultation.