Spinal Tumors

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Spinal Tumors

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Spinal tumor is a mass of tissues that grows within spinal canal or bones of spine. These cells grow uncontrollably and they are not recognized by the cells that control normal cells. The kind of tumor that affects spine bones is named vertebral tumor.

What is spinal tumor?

Spinal tumor is a kind of unusual growth of cells around the spinal cord. a long and flexible column of bones which protects spinal cord is called spine. Primary spinal tumors grow on spinal cord and secondary spinal tumors are caused by cancer.

Types of spinal tumor

Primary spinal tumor

This kind of tumor originate in the spinal column like nerves, discs and…. . one of the most common spinal tumors are known as Hemangiomas

Secondary spinal tumors

Secondary spinal tumors are caused by cancer and they stary from other parts of the body. Cancerous cells in lungs, breast and prostate are most likely to spread to your spine.

spinal tumor
source: promedspine.com

Spinal tumors classification

Spinal cord tumors can be classified into 3 kinds depending on where they happen. These tumors are classified as described below:

Intramedullary tumors

This kind of tumor occur within the spinal cords like gliomas and astrocytoma

Extramedullary tumors

This type of tumor happens in nerve roots or membrane around the spinal cord. However they do not begin within spinal cord, they are likely to affect spinal cord function.

In rare case, tumors of different parts of the body may develop to vertebrae.

Spinal tumor symptoms

Spinal tumors can have variety of sings which may increase as the tumor grows. The most common signs include the following:

  • Feeling pain as the tumor grows
  • Difficulty when walking and standing
  • Muscle weakness

Spinal tumors may vary depending on the tumor kind. Needless to say, the pain may spread to your hips, legs, feet or arms.

When to see a doctor

 In case your back pain includes the Characteristics below go to a doctor:

  • Persistent pain
  • If your pain gets worse at night
  • You have history of cancer
  • Muscle weakness or numbness

Spinal tumor cause

Specialists have yet not found a clear reason why spinal tumors happen, yet they guess that defective genes may play a role to cause these tumors. It is not clear if these genetic defects are inherited or grow over time. In some conditions spinal tumors are connected to inherited syndromes like neurofibromatosis 2 and von Hippel-Lindau disease.


The first step doctors take to diagnose tumors is prescribing medical examination like Radiological tests. The most common of these tests include the following:


This kind of test uses radiation to take picture of different parts of your body which show the structure of vertebrae and the outline of the joints. It also helps distinguish the causes of the pain like tumors, infections, fractures and ….

CT scan

CT scan shows the shape and size of the spinal canal. CT scan is the best kind of medical examination which visualizes bony structures.


MRI is a kind of test that uses computer technology and magnets to produce three-dimensional images of body structure.

source: atlantaspineinstitute.com


There different ways to treat spinal tumors which include the following:

Non-surgical treatments

Chemotherapy and radiator therapy are nonsurgical methods to treat spinal tumors. Some tumors respond well to the treatment, but is they do not respond well surgery is needed.


Symptoms of implementing surgery varies depending on the type of tumor. If surgery is suggested by the doctor, the appropriate surgical method used for treatment determined by the location of tumor within spinal canal.

Risk factors

A variety of reasons may lead to spinal tumors the most common of them are nutrition, exercise and obesity. Nevertheless, it may take many years to cause tumors. Experts highly reflect that the following risks may increase the risk of these tumors:

  • Radiation exposure particularly in childhood
  • Hereditary syndromes
  • Weakened immune system

The results of spine surgery depend dramatically on the health and overall health of the patient. The purpose of the surgery is to remove the tumor completely. If this surgery is performed for adults, it may have lots of complications the most common of which is infection. In case you have any symptoms of spinal tumors go straight to the doctor.






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⭐Turaj Yazdi M. D.⭐

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