Spinal tumors are abnormal growths that develop in the spine and, if left untreated, can spread and result in life-threatening symptoms. Although some cancers are benign, they may still cause unpleasant symptoms and interfere with the health of your spine. Fortunately, Dr. Pan has years of experience diagnosing and treating spinal tumors Edison and uses advanced technology to increase treatment success rates, restoring your quality of life.
Different types of spinal tumors
A spinal tumor refers to an abnormal growth within the bones in your spine or your spinal canal. The tumor can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). Although spinal tumors are rare, you may have higher chances of developing if someone in your family has any of them. Genetic conditions like neurofibromatosis may also elevate your risk of spinal tumors. Spinal tumors can be metastatic (spreading from other body parts) or primary (originating from your spine). These tumors are categorized according to where they create, including Intramedullary tumors, which develop within your spinal cord; extradural tumors, which develop within your spinal canal but rarely interfere with your spinal cord and intradural tumors, which affect the membrane surrounding your spinal cord.
Signature symptoms of spinal tumors
Your symptoms will rely on the location and stage of the cancer. You may not experience symptoms if your spinal tumor is not too large to compress and irritate the surrounding tissues. However, as the door continues growing, you may begin experiencing certain symptoms, such as back pain. Although benign spinal cancer is not life-threatening, it can also result in specific symptoms. Symptoms associated with spinal tumors include back pain, loss of bladder or bowel control, muscle cramps or spasms, scoliosis, trouble walking, and numbing and tingling sensations in your arms, chest, or legs. Don’t hesitate to inform your provider if you experience any of these symptoms.
Diagnostic techniques of spinal tumor
Since primary spinal tumors rarely cause symptoms, your provider may detect them accidentally during an imaging test for another medical condition or routine cancer screening. Most individuals with primary spinal tumors believe their back pain is due to a suspected or real injury. Suppose you experience back pain that doesn’t respond to painkillers; you may need medical attention. During your initial appointment, Dr. Pan may discuss your symptoms and review your medical history. He may also conduct a neurological exam to detect muscle weakness, abnormal reflexes, tenderness in your spine, and loss of temperature sensation.
Available treatments for spinal tumors
After determining the location, stage, and type of spinal tumor, your provider may educate you about the available treatment options before recommending the most effective option. Metastatic spinal cancer treatment focuses on restoring optimal function in your spine, alleviating your pain, and improving your quality of life. Primary spinal tumor treatment focuses on removing the tumor completely. Dr. Pan may recommend bracing, radiation therapy, pain therapy, chemotherapy, or surgery for malignant spinal tumors. Even after surgery, your provider may recommend nonsurgical treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation to prevent cancer recurrence.
For comprehensive spinal cancer evaluation and treatment, call Dr. Pan or book an appointment online today.