If you have back pain, then it’s most likely because of stress, strain or aging. However, spine tumors can also cause back pain. But having one of these tumors is about as rare as having a brain tumor.
A spine tumor means you have a growth that’s developed in your spinal cord, near your spinal cord or in a spine bone. Spinal tumors can be cancerous or benign, like a hemangioma.
Spinal tumors that originate in your spine are less common than those that metastasize there from primary cancers, usually from breast, prostate and lung cancer. And sometimes, a spinal cord tumor is associated with leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma blood cancers. Spinal cord lymphomas affect lymphocytes and typically arise because your immune system is compromised via drugs or disease.
Also, because your spinal cord is encased in bone, the growth of a spinal tumor can compress nerves, which causes additional health related symptoms, such as:
- walking difficulty
- muscle weakness
- abnormal sensations
- shooting pain down leg
- fecal, urine incontinence
- cold sensation in extremities
- muscle spasms, muscle twitches
- scoliosis, other spinal deformities
- decreased pain, heat, cold sensitivity
Symptoms vary based on where your spinal tumor is located and its rate of progression. In some cases, tumors may exist in your spine without causing symptoms for years.
The primary focus of treatment for spinal tumors is reducing or preventing nerve damage. And because malignant tumors tend to progress rapidly, treatment should be administered quickly. Your spine tumor treatments may include:
- radiation therapy
- surgical removal of spine tumors
- corticosteroids ~ only temporarily to reduce inflammation & avoid drug side effects of osteoporosis, hypertension, hyperglycemia induced diabetes, infection susceptibility
After treatment, any nerve damage caused health problems will probably carry on. And if your spinal tumor is not cancerous, is small, isn’t causing symptoms and doesn’t seem to be growing, then watch and wait might be how it’s treated.