Vertebral tumor consultation
A spinal tumor is a growth that develops within your spinal canal or within the bones of your spine. It may be cancerous or noncancerous.
Tumors that affect the bones or vertebrae of the spine are called vertebral tumors.
Spinal tumors that begin within the spinal cord itself are called spinal cord tumors.
Tumors that affect the vertebrae have often spread (metastasized) from cancers in other parts of the body. But there are some types of tumors that start within the bones of the spine, such as chordoma, chondrosarcoma, osteosarcoma and Ewing's sarcoma.
A vertebral tumor or a growth of any kind can affect the nervous system and impair neurological function by pushing on the spinal cord or nerve roots nearby. As these tumors grow within the bone, they may also cause pain, vertebral fractures or spinal instability.
Whether cancerous or not, a vertebral tumor can be life-threatening and cause permanent disability.
Treatment for a vertebral tumor may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or other medications.
Find out why Mayo Clinic is the best place for your care.
Aug. 10, 2017
- 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 Sept. 22, 2014.
- Goldman L, et al. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. 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.
- Brunicardi FC, ed., et al. 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/cancer/braincnstumorsinadults/detailedguide/. Accessed Sept. 22, 2014.
- Sundaresen N. Primary malignant tumors of the spine. Orthopedeic 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.
- Bydon, M. et al. The use of sterotactic radiosurgery for the treatment of spinal axis tumors: A review. Clinical Neurology and Neuroscience. 2014;125:166.
- Overview of spinal cord tumors. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/sec17/ch236/ch236g.html. Accessed Sept. 22, 2014.
- Intercranial and spinal tumors. The Merck Manual for Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic_disorders/intracranial_and_spinal_tumors/spinal_cord_tumors.html?qt=spinal cord tumor&alt=sh. Accessed Oct. 8, 2014.
- Clarke, MJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 24, 2014.
- What are the risk factors for brain and spinal tumors. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/braincnstumorsinadults/detailedguide/brain-and-spinal-cord-tumors-in-adults-risk-factors. Accessed Oct. 9, 2014.
- Fuji H, et al. Feasibility of proton beam therapy for chordoma and chondrosarcoma of the skull base. Skull Base. 2011;21:201.