Most patients with spinal tumors in Edison may fail to recognize the existence of the condition. As a result, these patients may end up treating the wrong condition. Therefore, your healthcare provider must evaluate your symptoms before confirming a diagnosis. After an evaluation, your doctor may recommend a treatment plan based on the type of tumor you have and its location.
What are the types of spinal tumors you are likely to have?
Your healthcare provider may categorize spinal tumors as malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). While primary tumors might originate from your spinal cord, secondary tumors originate from cancer advancing from another body part to your spine. Your doctor will most likely identify spinal tumors depending on the region of your spine where the tumors occur, such as; thoracic, lumbar, sacrum, and cervical. The location may also identify the tumors within your spine, including; extradural, intramedullary, and intradural-extramedullary.
Your healthcare provider will most likely diagnose you with intradural-extramedullary tumors when the abnormal cells grow inside your spinal cord’s thin covering (dura). You might have such tumors develop in your arachnoid membrane, in your nerve roots extending from your spinal cord, or at the base of your spinal cord.
Although some intradural-extramedullary tumors like those that develop in your arachnoid membrane (meningiomas) are benign, they may be hard to eliminate and are likely to reoccur.
Such tumors grow inside your spinal cord. Though they are usually benign, they can be challenging for your doctor to remove.
Extradural tumors develop outside your dura (the thin lining covering your spinal cord). Most extradural tumors extend through your intervertebral foramina. As a result, you will likely find such tumors partially lying within and partially outside your spinal canal.
What are the common causes of spinal tumors?
Spinal tumors do have specific causes. While you are likely to get spinal tumors because of exposure to potential triggers, others like spinal cord lymphomas (affecting your lymphocytes) will mainly develop when you have a weak immune system. In some instances, you may develop primary spinal tumors because of genetic issues like:
Neurofibromatosis – when you have the genetic disorder, you may have benign tumors develop in your spinal cord’s arachnoid layer. Unfortunately, most of the abnormal cells responsible for the illness affect your nerves related to hearing. As a result, you may eventually lose your hearing ability in either ear or both.
Von Hippel-Lindau disease – your doctor might link this rare disorder with non-cancerous blood vessel tumors in your spinal cord, brain, retina, and some tumors in your adrenal glands or kidneys.
What are the symptoms you might have with spinal tumors?
The most common symptom you are likely to have with spinal tumors is an unexplained back pain that might worsen with physical exercise and sleep at night. The pain can also extend beyond your back to your limbs, which is likely to worsen with time. However, you may also experience other symptoms depending on the type of tumor and its location. You may also have debilitating symptoms when the tumor presses against your blood vessels, nerve roots, and spinal cord.
Whether malignant or benign, spinal tumors will most likely affect your everyday life. However, contacting your doctor for an early diagnosis and treatment might help manage your symptoms.