Spinal tumor refers to the abnormal growth of the uncontrolled tissues or cells in and around the spinal cord. Tumors can be cancerous or non-cancerous. Some of the most common non-cancerous (benign) spinal tumors are osteoblastoma, osteoma, hemangioma, and osteochondroma. Most commonly occurring cancerous (malignant) spinal tumors are Ewing’s sarcoma, chondrosarcoma, osteosarcoma, lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Tumors that begin in the spine are known as the primary spinal tumors. While tumors that spread to the spine from other parts such as the prostate, breast, lung, and other areas are commonly called the secondary spinal tumors.

We at Vimhans PrimaMed Institute of Minimal Invasive Surgery believe that a minimal spinal surgery is a very powerful tool to remove tumors. Our expert surgeons offer our patients a small incision and a speedy recovery. The minimal invasive procedures allow other treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation to start earlier than previous possible.

Causes

The causes of primary spinal tumors are not known, but may occur due to genetic defects.

Secondary spinal tumors come into being when the cancer cells arise from lungs, kidneys, breasts, and spreads to the spine. The causes include:

Rapid division of cancer cells in the bones, nerves or cartilage of the spine
Exposure to radiations and chemicals
Hereditary

Symptoms

Individuals with the spine tumor experience persistent and chronic back pain, burning and tingling sensation, numbness, loss of sensation in legs, ankle, knee, arms and difficulty in balancing, and also observe bladder or bowel control problems.

Treatment

Medications like corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory drugs are often prescribed to reduce swelling and inflammation around the spinal cord. External braces are also used for providing support and controlling pain.

Other treatments may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, and physical therapy which may offer permanent relief.

Surgery- Surgery is usually performed to remove the tumor confined only to one portion of the spine. Electrodes are also used to test different nerves of the spine, in order to minimize nerve damage. In some of the cases sound waves are used for breaking tumors and removing the remaining tissues.

Radiation therapy- This technique uses high beam of radiations for destroying the cancer cells. It’s used after the surgery to destroy the remaining cancer cells. A latest device called cyberknife, painless and non-invasive procedure that passes high doses of radiations to the targeted areas of the spinal cord is also used in radiotherapy.

Chemotherapy- During this procedure, the combination of anti-cancer drugs is used for destroying the cancer cells. Chemotherapy is commonly used to shrink the cancer cells, stop the division of cancer cells, and to prevent them from spreading to surrounding tissues.

Physical therapy- Exercises are needed to improve the muscle strength and the ability to function independently.

No matter whether the cancer started in the spine or spread to the spine from another location, its treatment will aim at controlling the pain, maintaining highest functionality, and removing or stopping the cancerous growth. And, minimal invasive surgery is powerful tool to make this happen.

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