Conditions & Services

Spinal Tumors

Spinal Tumors

Spinal tumors form in the spinal cord or spinal column. They are categorized by their location in the spine, whether they began in the spine (primary) or spread there from cancer cells in another part of your body (secondary), and whether the tumors are benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Tumors may develop in the cervical spine (neck), thoracic vertebrae, lumbar, and sacrum. They may be located inside the spinal cord (intramedullary), in the tissues covering the spine (intradural-extramedullary), or between these tissues and the bones of the spine (extradural). Over half of all spinal tumors are extradural; the rarest spinal tumors are intramedullary.
Pain can occur due to both benign and malignant spinal tumors, in addition to other symptoms such as numbness, muscle weakness, spasms, stiffness in the back or neck, incontinence, impaired motor function, scoliosis, and paralysis.

What causes spinal tumors?

You are most likely to develop a spinal tumor if you already have cancer. The type of cancer that most frequently spreads to the spine is lung cancer for men and breast cancer for women. Other forms of cancer that may spread to the spine include:
  • Prostate cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Melanoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Sarcoma
  • Kidney cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
Although primary spinal tumors are rare, they are most likely to occur in people between the ages of 65 and 74, as well as children between the ages of 10 and 16.

How are spinal tumors treated?

Spinal tumors are typically diagnosed through imaging tests such as x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) scans, which provide your doctor with detailed information about the area in which the tumor is located and, potentially, other parts of your body that the cancer may have spread from. Your doctor may also order a biopsy to determine whether the tumor is benign or malignant.
Treatment for spinal tumors often prioritizes approaches such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, but if these prove ineffective, you may be recommended for surgery. This typically involves removing the tumor and providing support for your spine that improves mobility and relieves pain.

Schedule an appointment for Queens spinal tumor treatment

The experienced neurosurgeons at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Division of Neurosurgery are ready to provide you with expert spine tumor treatment in Queens, NYC. To schedule an appointment, please call (718) 206-7001.