Nobody likes to hear the word “tumor,” but the fact of the matter is, they are very common. When it comes to spinal tumors, there are two main types. The first is typically benign and forms from inside the spinal tissue. The second type is usually cancerous and metastasizes from another part of the body. The size and location of the spinal tumor will affect the level of pain you experience, as well as the possibility for other symptoms.
Symptoms of Spinal Tumors
Unfortunately, spinal tumors can be very difficult to detect because in most cases they are not accompanied by back pain. Symptoms associated with spinal tumors tend to develop slowly over a long period of time, ranging from several weeks to several months or years. Benign spinal tumors tend to develop more slowly than cancerous ones, and are the least likely to be associated with back pain. Some of the symptoms that commonly accompany both benign and cancerous spinal tumors include:
- Physical deformities of the spine (felt or seen)
- Weakness in the hips and legs
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Progressive back pain
- Worsening back pain while sleeping
In addition to these symptoms, cancerous spinal tumors may also cause loss of appetite and associated weight loss, nausea and/or vomiting, and fever or chills. If you experience any of these symptoms you should contact your doctor immediately and seek a consultation with a spinal specialist like Jersey Spine Associates.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
The first step in diagnosing a spinal tumor is to have a comprehensive medical history and physical exam. When you go to Jersey Spinal Associates for your consultation we will conduct a thorough exam and history, as well as any additional tests that may be necessary to make a complete diagnosis. We will work quickly and efficiently to diagnose the underlying cause of your symptoms, and to determine whether the tumor is benign or cancerous.
No matter what the results of the test are, we will treat your spinal tumor to the best of our knowledge and ability to ensure a complete recovery. Once you receive your diagnosis and prognosis, Dr. Ponnappan will review with you your options for treatment and, together, the two of you will decide on the proper course of action. We will keep you fully informed every step of the way so you don’t have to worry about being kept out of the loop—the final decision-making power is yours when it comes to choosing a treatment.
Dealing with a spinal tumor can be very scary, especially if you do not know whether it is benign or cancerous. When you choose Jersey Spine Associates to perform the necessary tests and procedures to diagnose your tumor, you can rest easy that you are working with the best in the business. Not only do we have many years of experience in the industry, but we also have one of the top spinal surgeons in southern New Jersey, Dr. Ponnappan.