Malignant and Benign Spine Tumor Treatment

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. 

Symptoms of Spine Tumors

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 activity.

Pain is a common symptom for most spine problems so your doctor will help identify the true cause of the pain.

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 your doctor will help identify the true cause of the pain. 

Types of Tumors

Benign spine tumors include: 

  • Aneurysmal Bone Cysts (ABCs)
  • Giant Cell Tumors (GCTs)
  • Osteoid Osteoma
  • Osteochondroma
  • Hemangioma
  • Eosinophilic Granuloma

Malignant spine tumors include:

  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Chordoma
  • Ewing's Sarcoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Plasmacytoma 

Diagnosis of spinal tumors requires radiologic exams to determine the exact location and extent of the tumor. A biopsy is necessary to determine the type of tumor. The type of tumor is very important in determining the best treatment.

CT reconstruction of spine tumor. Arrow points to the tumor wrapped around cervical vertebra.

Rocky Mountain Scolios and Spine is closely associated with The Insitute for Limb Preservation; Through work with CSU Animal Cancer Center, The Institute for Limb Preservation has developed a treatment protocol for osteosarcoma in kids and adults that has the best reported long-term survival for those affected with bone cancer.