Updated visiting restrictions are in place for all locations | Learn More »

Spinal Tumor

Spine tumors are abnormal growths of tissue found inside the spinal column. Tumors that originate in the spine are called primary tumors and most often must be treated with surgery. Two types are schwannomas and meningiomas.

A secondary or metastatic tumor results from spine cancer originating in another part of the body. This is a malignant tumor and is classified by its location in the spine (cervical, thoracic, lumbar or sacrum).

The types of cancer that most frequently lead to a spine tumor include:

  • lung cancer 
  • breast cancer
  • prostate cancer
  • thyroid cancer
  • kidney cancer 

The most common symptom of a spine tumor is back pain that is not improved by rest. Other symptoms include:

  • Sciatica
  • Numbness
  • Partial paralysis
  • Spinal deformity
  • Difficulty controlling bladder 
  • Fever

Unless treated, the symptoms will worsen over time.

Spinal Tumor Treatment Options

Spinal tumor treatments may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or surgical removal of the tumor depending on its type and location. If surgical removal is not possible due to the tumor's location, your doctor may perform spinal embolization, which limits blood flow to the tumor.