A spinal tumor can be one of the most daunting diagnosis in all of neurology. When they form, they can create significant pressure and discomfort on the spine, and may even be cancerous. Fortunately, fewer than 10% of spinal tumors are found to be malignant. For those whose tumors are diagnosed as malignant, the good news is that many spinal tumors are generally amenable to surgical removal. This means that afflicted patients have a chance of being spared ongoing treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.

Spinal cord tumors are typically one of two main types: intramedullary or extramedullary. An intramedullary tumor is one that forms from the cells inside the spinal cord, while an extramedullary tumor begins outside of the spinal cord, in the tissues surrounding the area. Although this latter type of spinal tumor does not occur within the spinal cord itself, the growth of such tumors can affect spinal function through compression and other complications. Some spinal tumors may also metastasize (spread) from other parts of the body, if an individual is already dealing with another type of cancer.

Spinal tumors of all kinds can be painful and debilitating, and could cause paralysis or permanent disability. If the tumor turns out to be malignant, its presence can even be fatal. Due to these concerns, it is incredibly important to watch for the following symptoms, which could be related to the growth of a spinal tumor:

  • Persistent back pain, especially if you have a previous history of cancer
  • General weakness in one or more areas
  • Falling incidents
  • Difficulty walking
  • Tingling or loss of sensation in the limbs
  • Loss of bladder/bowel control
  • Lower sensitivity to pain or extreme temperatures

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are concerned about the possibility of a spinal tumor or other neurological condition, make an appointment at our clinic to see Dr. Neece at your earliest convenience.