If your spinal tumor is metastatic, it means your cancer began in a different area of your body and spread to your back or neck. It’s not uncommon – metastatic cancer accounts for 70 percent of all spinal tumors.
Cancers that originate in the lung, breast and gastrointestinal tract are the three most likely cancers to travel to the spine. And they can invade any part, from your bones and nerves to the spinal cord and its protective membranes.
Depending on the size and location of the tumor, you may experience a range of symptoms. But, the first typical sign of a metastatic spinal tumor is back and/or neck pain. The pain may worsen as your activity level increases, as well as during the nighttime hours.
In addition to pain, metastatic spinal tumors can compress your spinal cord, causing neurological symptoms like:
We don’t yet know what exactly causes spine tumors or why cancer metastasizes to the spine in some people and not in others. We have, although, seen that people with certain immune disorders or genetic conditions are more likely to experience it.
Treatment decisions for metastatic spinal tumors require a multidisciplinary review. Once your treatment team has a complete diagnostic profile, they’ll customize a care plan that fits your unique situation. This may include minimally invasive therapies to stabilize your spine and repair vertebral fractures before you have radiation therapy or surgery.
To schedule an appointment with a Summa spine specialist, call 330.835.5533 now.