Both noncancerous and cancerous spinal tumors can compress spinal nerves, leading to a loss of movement or sensation below the level of the tumor and sometimes to changes in bowel and bladder function. Nerve damage may be permanent. However, if caught early and treated aggressively, it may be possible to regain nerve function. Depending on its location, a tumor that impinges on the spinal cord itself may be life-threatening.

Oct. 21, 2011