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
- Donthineni R. Diagnosis and staging of spine tumors. Orthopedic Clinics of North America. 2009;40:1.
- Brain and spinal tumors: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brainandspinaltumors/detail_brainandspinaltumors.htm#43233060. Accessed Aug. 28, 2011.
- DeAngelis LM. Tumors of the central nervous system and intracranial hypertension and hypotension. In: Goldman L, et al., eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed Sept. 2, 2011
- Spinal cord tumors. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/sec17/ch236/ch236g.html. Accessed Aug. 31, 2011.
- Smith ML, et al. Neurosurgery. In: Brunicardi FC, et al., eds. Schwartz's Principles of Surgery. 9th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=5020575. Accessed Sept. 1, 2011.
- Gurd DP. Back pain in the young athlete. Sports Medicine Arthroscopy Review. 2011;19:7
- Detailed guide: Brain and spinal cord tumors in adults. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003088-pdf.pdf. Accessed Aug. 28, 2011.
- Sundaresen N. Primary malignant tumors of the spine. Orthopedic Clinics of North America. 2009;40:21.
- Chamberlain MC, et al. Adult primary intradural spinal cord tumors: A review. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Report. 2011;11:320.
- Sachdev S, et al. Stereotactic radiosurgery yields long-term control for benign intradural, extramedullary spinal tumors. Neurosurgery. 2011;69:533.
- Sagar SM. Acupuncture as an evidence-based option for symptom control in cancer patients. Current Treatment Options in Oncology. 2008;9:117.
- Moynihan TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 2, 2011.