A Spinal Tumor is medically defined as an abnormal benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) new growth of tissue near the spine that possesses no physiological function and arises from uncontrolled and usually rapid cellular proliferation. This specific disease can cause severe damage or disability to patients, as the growth of tissue may impinge the spinal cord, vertebra and nerve roots. Spinal Tumors can grow in any area of the back and can spread all across the body, such as the prostate, lungs, breasts and other areas. Additionally, the development of spinal tumors progress at different rates; malignant tumors accelerate at a higher speed in comparison to benign tumors.
Spinal Tumors can significantly deteriorate your quality of life and essentially threaten life itself. This specific tumor is known to apply pressure on the nerves, which consequently invokes chronic pain, paralysis, and other severe symptoms that will necessitate treatment.
Causes of Spinal Tumor
Unfortunately, the definitive cause of Spinal Tumors has not been found. Unlike other spinal deformities, Tumors are not caused by other spinal malformations or associated conditions.
However, studies suggest that an abnormality of a gene may play a factor. These genetic defects may be passed down from family members, inherited spontaneously or caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, bacteria, or radiation. As stated previously, this theory is not the definitive cause as leading experts and researchers are still searching for the exact cause.
Symptoms associated with Spinal Tumors depend on two factors: the location of the tumor and the type of tumor, whether it is malignant or benign. Spinal Tumor symptoms usually range from moderate to severe in terms of the intensity with regards to pain and disturbance. Keep in mind that spinal tumors may expand to other areas of the body, causing various and severe symptoms that require immediate attention.
Here is a list of common symptoms associated with Spinal Tumors that may worsen at night:
- Persistent severe back pain & pain in the vicinity of the tumor
- Radiating pain to various areas of the body
- Progressive loss of sensation, muscle weakness & numbness in upper and lower extremities
- Difficulty walking, which may result in frequent falls
- Loss of bowel or bladder function
- Scoliosis & paralysis
Be sure to seek immediate medical care should you experience any of these symptoms.
Treatment for a spinal Tumor is unlike treatment for most spinal disorders. Traumatic back pain and other conditions are typically treated via minimally invasive and non-surgical procedures. In fact, patients with spinal tumors commonly require surgical treatment in order to remove the tumor completely and any bone that is damaged. In this case, surgery is not the last resort. Chemotherapy and microsurgeries are also considered as beneficial treatments for spinal tumors.
However, risk of permanent damage to nerves may arise due to complications from complex operative modalities. This is why it is important to consult with your physician and receive all the information needed when undergoing surgery for Spinal Tumors, including the risks and benefits. Additionally, consider receiving a second opinion from another spine specialist or surgeon. Indeed, spinal conditions can be a complex matter, so be sure to receive as much information as you can.
After surgery has taken place, minimally invasive options such as medicine will be prescribed in order to control any inflammation that may resurface.