Spine tumors are found as abnormal tissue growth within the spinal column. Primary spinal tumors are those that originate from the spine. Tumors of the spine can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). The etiology of most of these tumors is unknown.
Metastatic tumors are those that arise from a cancer originating from another part of the body. The most common primary sources of metastatic spine tumors are from lung, breast, prostate, thyroid, kidney. The hallmark of a spine tumor is back pain that is unrelieved by rest. Other symptoms, though less common, are sciatica, numbness, partial paralysis, dysfunctional bladder and fever.
Symptoms of a tumor have directed treatment. For pain and swelling – analgesics and steroids, at times a brace. More definitive treatment can include chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Spinal tumors that go untreated will usually worsen symptomatically over time.