Surgery of Spinal Tumors
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Spinal Schwannomas. Spinal Tumors.
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Home Conditions Spinal Tumors. When cancer metastasizes spreads from its original location, a tumor may form in the vertebrae bones of the spine. Less commonly, a vertebral tumor may be a primary tumor, meaning one that originated there. One way to describe a spine tumor is by whether it is primary or metastatic: A primary tumor is one that originated in the area in the area in which it is found.
A metastatic tumor is one that develops as an extension of another cancer such as lung, breast, colon, or kidney.
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More than 40 percent of all patients who have cancer elsewhere in the body, including breast, lung, prostate, thyroid, renal, and colon, will experience the spread of their cancer to their spine in their lifetime. Another way to describe a tumor is by whether it is benign vs. A malignant tumor is a cancerous growth that spreads and infiltrates into other tissue. Malignant spine tumors include chondrosarcomas, Ewing sarcomas, and osteosarcomas. Doctors Who Treat Spinal Tumors. Director of Spinal Surgery and Neurotrauma. Ali A. Baaj, M. Eric H. Elowitz, M.
Caitlin Hoffman, M. Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery in Pediatrics. Rupa Gopalan Juthani, M. Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery. Samuel C. Kim, M. Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery. Susan C. Pannullo, M.
Director, Neurosurgical Radiosurgery. Athos Patsalides, M. Associate Professor of Radiology in Neurological Surgery. Rohan Ramakrishna, M. Michael Virk, M.
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A Guide to Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty. New Patient Questionnaire Adult. Getting You Back in Action. See more Journal Articles. Tel: youtube twitter facebook. Reproduction, electronic or otherwise, without the permission of Weill Cornell Medical College is strictly forbidden. All Rights Reserved. Legal Information. Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis. Ankylosing Spondylitis. Arteriovenous Malformation AVM. Back Pain. Basilar Invagination. Brain Tumors in Adults. Brain Tumors in Children. Brainstem Gliomas. Carotid Body Tumors.
Carotid Occlusive Disease. Cavernous Malformations. Cerebral Ischemia. Chiari Malformation. Cognitive Dysfunction. Colloid Cysts. Craniofacial Anomalies. Cushing's Disease. Deformational Plagiocephaly. Epilepsy in Adults. Epilepsy in Children. Spinal magnetic resonance imaging MRI. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to produce accurate images of your spine, spinal cord and nerves. MRI is usually the preferred test to diagnose tumors of the spinal cord and surrounding tissues.
A contrast agent that helps highlight certain tissues and structures may be injected into a vein in your hand or forearm during the test. Some people may feel claustrophobic inside the MRI scanner or find the loud thumping sound it makes disturbing. But you're usually given earplugs to help with the noise, and some scanners are equipped with televisions or headphones.
If you're very anxious, ask about a mild sedative to help calm you. In certain situations, a general anesthetic may be necessary. Ideally, the goal of spinal tumor treatment is to eliminate the tumor completely, but this goal may be complicated by the risk of permanent damage to the spinal cord and surrounding nerves. Doctors also must take into account your age and overall health.
The type of tumor and whether it arises from the structures of the spine or spinal canal or has spread to your spine from elsewhere in your body also must be considered in determining a treatment plan. Using microsurgical techniques, a tumor is gently teased out of the spinal cord in the cervical spine.
Some spinal tumors may be discovered before they cause symptoms — often when you're being evaluated for another condition. If small tumors aren't growing or pressing on surrounding tissues, watching them carefully may be all that's needed. During observation, your doctor will likely recommend periodic CT or MRI scans at an appropriate interval to monitor the tumor.
This is often the treatment of choice for tumors that can be removed with an acceptable risk of spinal cord or nerve injury damage. Newer techniques and instruments allow neurosurgeons to reach tumors that were once considered inaccessible. The high-powered microscopes used in microsurgery make it easier to distinguish tumor from healthy tissue.
Doctors also can monitor the function of the spinal cord and other important nerves during surgery, thus minimizing the chance of injuring them. In some instances, very high-frequency sound waves might be used during surgery to break up tumors and remove the fragments. But even with the latest technological advances in surgery, not all tumors can be totally removed.
When the tumor can't be removed completely, surgery may be followed by radiation therapy or chemotherapy or both. Recovery from spinal surgery may take weeks or longer, depending on the procedure. You may experience a temporary loss of sensation or other complications, including bleeding and damage to nerve tissue. Radiation therapy. This may be used to eliminate the remnants of tumors that remain after surgery, to treat inoperable tumors or to treat those tumors where surgery is too risky.
Spinal Tumors | Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center
Sometimes, your radiation therapy regimen may be adjusted to help minimize the amount of healthy tissue that's damaged and to make the treatment more effective. Modifications may range from simply changing the dosage of radiation to using sophisticated techniques such as 3-D conformal radiation therapy. A standard treatment for many types of cancer, chemotherapy uses medications to destroy cancer cells or stop them from growing. Your doctor can determine whether chemotherapy might be beneficial for you, either alone or in combination with radiation therapy.
Other drugs. Because surgery and radiation therapy as well as tumors themselves can cause inflammation inside the spinal cord, doctors sometimes prescribe corticosteroids to reduce the swelling, either after surgery or during radiation treatments. Although corticosteroids reduce inflammation, they are usually used only for short periods to avoid serious side effects such as muscle weakness, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, diabetes and an increased susceptibility to infection.
Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease. Although there aren't any alternative medicines that have been proved to cure cancer, some complementary or alternative treatments may help relieve some of your symptoms. One such treatment is acupuncture. During acupuncture treatment, a practitioner inserts tiny needles into your skin at precise points.