care for the entire spine
Metastatic spine tumors
When cancer spreads from one location to another we often call this a “metastasis”. A common location for cancer to spread (for example from the lung, breast, or kidney) is to the spine. When this happens, patients may be affected in many ways including weakness of the spinal column or compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots. Treatments for this condition depend many factors. Neurosurgeons, oncologists, and radiation oncologists work together to determine what therapies are most effective in each situation.
Read more about Metastic spine tumors on the AANS website.
Tumors of the spinal cord
The spinal cord is a location from which tumors may grow. Two forms of spinal cord tumors are “astrocytoma” and “ependymoma”. These tumors cause symptoms by preventing normal function of the spinal cord. For example, this condition can cause weakness or numbness in the arms and legs. After identifying a spinal tumor with medical imaging (commonly and MRI), it is important to determine the nature/type of the tumor. This way, a team of doctors (commonly a neurosurgeon, oncologist, and radiation oncologist) can counsel a patient on how best to treat his/her spinal cord tumor.
Read more about Tumors of the spinal cord on the AANS website.
Nerve sheath tumors
Nerve sheath tumors are growths of the lining (sheaths) of nerve cells. This type of tumor can arise in many different locations of the body including adjacent to the brain or spine. Schwannoma and neurofibroma are two types of nerve sheath tumors and commonly cause symptoms be exerting pressure on nearby structures, for example, the spinal cord. Depending on the location and size, the best strategy may be to remove the tumor via surgery or follow it closely with repeat medical imaging (MRI) in the future.
Read more about Nerve sheath tumors on the AANS website.