Living with a spinal tumor can be an extremely challenging experience; not only is the condition very uncommon, but it often brings along various physical and emotional difficulties.
As a neurosurgeon specialized in treating spinal tumors, I am here to provide comprehensive information on common types of spine-related tumors as well as their corresponding treatments so that patients can make informed decisions about their care journey.
Whether you are facing surgery or wondering if there could be something suspicious going on with your back pain, this blog post will offer valuable tips and resources to help educate you more on spinal tumors.
What is a spinal tumor?
A spinal tumor is a mass of abnormal cells that develops within the spine or its surrounding structures. These tumors can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Depending on the type of tumor, they may grow slowly and cause few symptoms, or rapidly spread to nearby tissues and organs.
However, no matter the rate of growth or severity of symptoms, it’s important that patients seek medical attention as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Common Types of Spinal Tumors
The two most common types of spinal tumors are primary spinal tumors and secondary spinal tumors. Primary spinal tumors originate in the spine itself and can either be noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant).
Secondary spinal tumors are more common than primary tumors and typically spread from a distant site to the spine (metastatic).
Primary Intradural Tumors
Primary intradural tumors are the most common primary spinal tumor, accounting for about 85% of all primary malignant spine tumors.
These types of tumors originate from the membranes (meninges) that cover and protect the spinal cord and can cause back pain, weakness or numbness in a leg, bladder and bowel problems, headache, neck pain, and sensory changes.
Common types of primary intradural tumors include meningiomas and ependymomas.
Metastatic Spinal Tumors
Metastatic spinal tumors are the most common type of secondary cancer. These cancers spread to the spine from a primary cancer site, such as breast cancer or lung cancer, and can cause pain, weakness or numbness in a leg or arm, bladder and bowel problems, headache, neck pain, and sensory changes.
Common types of metastatic spinal tumors include breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and melanoma.
Benign tumors, while not cancerous, can still cause severe nerve compression and permanent disability if they grow large enough. Common benign spinal tumors include Schwannomas and osteoid osteomas.
Malignant spinal tumors are cancerous and can spread to other parts of the body. Common malignant spinal tumors include astrocytomas, chordomas, and Ewing Sarcomas.
The type of treatment you receive will depend on several factors such as the size and location of the tumor, your age and overall health status.
The most common treatments for spinal tumors include surgery to remove the tumor, radiation therapy to shrink or destroy cancerous cells, and chemotherapy to kill cancer cells. It is important to discuss all possible treatments with your doctor so that you can find the best option for your specific needs.
It’s also essential for patients facing a spinal tumor to find a supportive network of family and friends who can provide emotional support during difficult times.
In addition, it’s beneficial to seek out resources such as counseling or therapy to help manage any stress or anxiety associated with living with a spinal tumor.
I hope this blog has provided some helpful information regarding common types of spinal tumors and treatment options available. If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to reach out and make an appointment with me at my clinic. I am here to answer any questions and provide the best care possible
Dr. Eshan Nerkar
Neurologist And NeurosuegeonDr. Eshan Nerkar, Consultant Brain & Spine Surgeon in Nashik specializes in Spine Surgery. He practices at AXON Brain & Spine Clinic. He is one of the best neurosurgeons in Nashik with more than 10 years of experience. He has performed more than 1000 surgeries related to brain and spinal surgery procedures.