3 Different Types of Spinal Tumors

3 Different Types of Spinal Tumors

A spinal tumor can cause a range of symptoms, and if you suffer from any or all of them, it’s critical to seek care from a highly skilled, board-certified neurosurgeon like Dr. Benjamin Cohen

Dr. Cohen’s expertise can meet the considerable demands of a delicate spinal tumor removal surgery. If it’s Dr. Cohen who delivers the care, you’re guaranteed an extraordinary level of attention and the best chance of successful results that come from skill and experience.

What spinal tumor symptoms should I be aware of? 

There are a number of spinal tumor signs to watch for:

Obviously, these symptoms are alarming, and if you experience them, you should seek medical treatment immediately. 

There’s more than one type of spinal tumor

It’s important to understand that spinal tumors exist under two broad categories: primary and secondary spinal tumors. A primary tumor originates in your spinal cord or spinal column, while secondary tumors are the result of cancer in another part of your body spreading to your spine. Breast, prostate, and lung cancers can often spread to the spine. 

There are three main types of primary spinal tumors:

1. Vertebral column tumors

Your vertebrae, or the 33 bones that form your spinal column, are the locations where vertebral column tumors begin. They can also grow in the discs, the spongy “shock absorbers” that are located between your vertebrae. 

2. Intramedullary tumors

These tumors grow in the cells located within your spinal cord. They occur most often in the cervical spine, or the upper part of the spine on the neck. Fortunately, they’re frequently benign (noncancerous). 

3. Intradural-extramedullary tumors

These tumors grow inside your spinal canal, and though they’re under the membranes that cover the spinal cord, they’re outside of the nerves. These tumors usually grow slowly and are also often benign. 

If you’re diagnosed with a spinal tumor of any sort, Dr. Cohen evaluates your overall health, your history of symptoms, and the speed at which he expects your tumor to grow. This helps him determine whether and when surgery will be necessary, and you may require surgery even if your tumor is benign. 

This is because even noncancerous tumors can grow to a large size and compress nerves, causing severe pain. Sometimes chemotherapy and radiation may be advised if Dr. Cohen can’t remove all of the tumor. Depending on your diagnosis and treatment plan, he may recommend these treatments prior to or after surgery.

Dr. Cohen is very skilled at spinal tumor removal, which requires a high level of precision. During surgery, he must excise as much of the tumor as he can, yet leave your neurological function unaffected. Whenever possible, he performs minimally invasive surgery, which requires only small incisions and is associated with faster recovery and less pain, scarring, and bleeding. 

Spinal decompression surgery is another type of procedure that creates more room, so your nerves aren’t crowded and prone to pain. Aside from managing pain, this surgery also protects your neurological function. Sometimes Dr. Cohen recommends spinal fusion, as well.

Don’t delay scheduling an appointment through our office if you have any symptoms of a spinal tumor, or request one through our website. You can meet with Dr. Cohen either in-person or via a telemedicine appointment.

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