Spine tumor is the abnormal growths of uncontrolled tissues or cells in and around the spinal cord. Tumors can either be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign).
Benign spinal tumors- osteoma, osteoblastoma, hemangioma, and osteochondroma.
Malignant spinal tumors- chondrosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and multiple myeloma.
Tumors that begin in the spine are called as primary spinal tumors. Tumors that spread to the spine from other parts such as the breast, prostate, lung, and other areas are called secondary spinal tumors.
Spine tumors are usually diagnosed only by imaging as symptoms produced are similar to disc prolapse, canal stenosis, spinal instability etc.. hence there is a variable presentation of chronic back pain, numbness, burning and tingling sensation, loss of sensation in legs, arms, ankle, knee, and difficulty in balancing, and also experience bladder or bowel control problems.
Xray, CT,MRI, PET scan, Biopsy maybe needed
Medications such as corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed to reduce inflammation and swelling around the spinal cord. External braces are also used which provide support and control pain.
Other treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and physical therapy which may provide permanent relief.
It is done to remove the tumor confined only to one portion of the spine. To minimize nerve damage, electrodes are used to test different nerves of the spine. In some cases sound waves are used to break tumors and the remaining tissues are removed.
This method uses high beam of radiations to destroy the cancer cells. It is used after surgery to destroy the remaining cancer cells. An advanced device called cyberknife, painless and non-invasive treatment that passes high doses of radiations to the targeted areas of the spinal cord is used in radiotherapy.
Combination of anti-cancer drugs is used to destroy the cancer cells. Chemotherapy is used to shrink the cancer cells, to stop the division of cancer cells, and prevent them from spreading to surrounding tissues. The drugs enter the bloodstream and reach the cancer cells to destroy them. Some of the commonly used drugs are methotrexate, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, carboplatin, and ifosfamide.
Some of the complications observed after surgery are temporary loss of sensation, nerve tissue damage, and bleeding
Exercises may be needed to improve muscle strength and the ability to function independently.