Spine tumors are rare but can occur in any area of the spine or spinal column. They can be benign or malignant and can be a primary tumor (meaning it originates from the spine structures, such as with osteosarcoma) or can be a metastatic lesion from another type of cancer (breast, or lung for example). Spine tumors can arise from nerve or bony structures that make up the spine.
The first symptom for most patients with a spinal tumor is pain. The pain may occur at rest, be worse at night, and might not be related to any type of activity. Other symptoms can include pain in the arm or leg, numbness, weight loss or fever. Pain is a common symptom for most spine problems so you doctor will help in identifying the true cause of the pain.
Benign spine tumors include:
- Aneurysmal Bone Cysts (ABCs)
- Giant Cell Tumors (GCTs)
- Osteoid Osteoma
- Eosinophilic Granuloma
Malignant spine tumors include:
Diagnosis of spinal tumors requires radiologic exams to determine the exact location and extent of the tumor. Biopsy is necessary to determine type of tumor. The type of tumor is very important in determining the best treatment.