Tumors of Spine

A spinal tumor is an abnormal mass of tissue within or surrounding the spinal cord and/or spinal column. A spinal cord tumor, also called an intradural tumor, is a spinal tumor that begins within the spinal cord or the covering of the spinal cord (dura). A tumor that affects the bones of the spine (vertebrae) is called a vertebral tumor.

There are three common types of spinal tumors that can cause back pain:
  • vertebral column tumors,
  • intradural-extramedullary tumors, and
  • intramedullary tumors.

There are many causes of back pain, and most back pain isn't caused by a tumor. But because early diagnosis and treatment are important for spinal tumors, see your doctor about your back pain if:

  • It's persistent and progressive
  • It's not activity related
  • It gets worse at night
  • You have a history of cancer and develop new back pain
  • You have other symptoms of cancer, such as nausea, vomiting or dizziness
Consult your doctor immediately if you experience:
  • Progressive muscle weakness or numbness in your legs or arms
  • Changes in bowel or bladder function

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