Spinal tumor symptoms most often manifest as progressive pain in the neck or back that builds gradually and worsens over time. A spinal tumor is a tissue mass that develops due to uncontrolled cell growth. The resulting buildup of excess cells can accumulate within or around the spinal anatomy. Primary spinal tumors originate in the spinal cord or spinal column, and secondary spinal tumors form in other areas of the body and metastasize, or spread, to the spine. The amount of space available within the spinal canal is very limited. Therefore, depending on its location, a tissue mass can press uncomfortably on the spinal cord or other sensitive neural tissue, which can lead to pain and other neurological symptoms.
Warning Signs of Spinal Cancer
While the early detection of spine cancer can significantly improve a patient’s prognosis, there are currently no spinal tumor screening tests recommended for individuals who do not have symptoms. As such, it’s important to learn about and recognize the warning signs of spine cancer and follow up with a physician for prompt evaluation and treatment when they occur. In addition to neck and back pain, other common spinal tumor symptoms to be watchful for include:
- Weakness or numbness in the arms, legs or chest area
- Walking or standing difficulties
- A general loss of sensation throughout the body
- A loss of bladder or bowel control
Spinal Cancer Treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt Cancer Center has a highly specialized Neuro-Oncology Program for diagnosing, treating and managing spinal tumor symptoms. Our multispecialty team of spine cancer experts takes a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to cancer treatment, with a goal to identify and meet the unique needs of each patient. In a single, convenient location, our patients have access to a full range of innovative therapies, including advanced non-surgical interventions and clinical trials, as well as a variety of supportive services designed to enhance a patient’s quality of life.