A spinal tumor is a cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign) growth that develops within or near your spinal cord or within the bones of your spine. Although back pain is the most common symptom of a spinal tumor, it's also an extremely common problem in people who don't have spinal tumors. In fact, most back pain isn't caused by a tumor.

A spinal tumor or a growth of any kind can affect nerves in the area of the tumor, leading to pain, neurological problems and sometimes paralysis. Whether cancerous or not, a spinal tumor can threaten life and cause permanent disability.

Treatment for a spinal tumor may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or other medications.

Oct. 21, 2011

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