Symptoms and types of tumors of the spine and spinal cord

Tumors of the spine – a neoplasm, malignant or benign. It appears due to the growth of cells in the spinal cord or in the tissues that surround it. Cancer or tumors of the spinal column are relatively rare, and if we consider the incidence in other cities, it looks about the same as in Odessa. The disease affects both women and men, and more than half of the cases are over 40 years of age.

Types of spinal tumors


Such tumors have their own capsule and have a low probability of metastasis.

Osteoid osteoma – occurs at the back of the vertebrae. With adequate treatment, the prognosis is favorable.

Osteoblastoma is a variant of osteoma, only its size is more than 2 cm. The symptoms of the disease are more pronounced and usually resort to surgical intervention. Relapses are rare.

Aneurysmal bone cyst. Often located in the cervical region. It affects the vertebral body or its back. Often occurs in young and middle-aged people.

Giant cell tumors are extremely rare and therefore little studied. By itself, the tumor is benign, but it behaves aggressively and can grow to other organs. Treatment is exclusively surgical.

Eosinophilic granuloma – affects the bone tissue, thereby thinning it.

Enchondromas are tumors made up of cartilage. With an increase, they affect the structure of the spine. There are cases when the tumor developed into chondrosarcoma .


Tumors are life-threatening for the patient and require serious treatment. They grow quickly enough and are able to spread to other organs. They can arise from cartilage tissue, from bone marrow tissue, and from bone tissue itself.

They are classified according to the place of primary localization:

  • Primary tumors – arise in the spinal column itself. They can be either malignant or benign.
  • Metastatic tumor – tumor cells on the spine are metastases from other organs. Only malignant neoplasms.

According to the type of growth are divided into:

  • Endophytic – cells grow exclusively within the bone tissue.
  • Exophytic – a tumor can affect the muscle tissue around the organ, as well as blood vessels and cartilage.

There are two types of spread of tumor foci:

  • Monotopic tumor – one focus.
  • Polytopic tumor – several foci.


First of all, there is pain and it can be of different intensity. As a rule, it intensifies at night and it does not depend on your activity. Concomitant symptoms may include nausea, dizziness, weight loss.

More precisely, all the symptoms depend on the health of the person and the localization of the tumor. Here you should also pay attention to the occurrence of bruises, hematomas and any other changes on the skin.

The main symptoms of a tumor:

  • Back pain . It can also radiate to other parts of the body and is not relieved by analgesics.
  • Sensitivity is broken.
  • Motility disorder. A person’s hands and feet get cold, there is a “drunk” gait, paresis or paralysis of any muscles. In advanced cases, urinary and fecal incontinence occurs.

Features of the development and course of the disease with malignant neoplasms of the spine.

  1. metastatic tumor. Any malignant tumor can metastasize to bone tissue, but most often this happens with lung, breast, prostate and thyroid cancer. It takes place in the circulatory system. Such a tumor is accompanied by severe pain, it can compress the spinal cord, which leads to paralysis of the lower extremities. Surgery, chemotherapy can reduce pain in such lesions.
  2. Myeloma . The most common of the malignant tumors of the spine. The lesion in the initial stages is asymptomatic and the pain syndrome appears much later. Treatment of the disease is palliative. Chemotherapy is given to reduce pain and also to slow down the progression of the tumor.
  3. Osteogenic sarcoma. The disease can affect people of any age. Just a few years ago, almost everyone died from this disease, but thanks to advances in neuroimaging and chemotherapy, the percentage of surviving patients has increased markedly.
  4. Ewing’s sarcoma . A rapidly progressive disease that mainly affects children. The tumor is often localized in the sacrum and lower back. From the symptoms, one can distinguish pain spreading throughout the body, febrile body temperature, paralysis. The prognosis is unfavorable, since it is difficult to detect sarcoma at an early stage.
  5. Chondrosarcoma . The tumor is made up of cartilage. It affects not only any part of the spine, but also the nerve endings. Easily spreads to the ribs and progresses rapidly. In men, the disease is more common. The prognosis of treatment is controversial, it all depends on the behavior of the tumor (slow or rapid metastasis). The causes of occurrence have not been clarified. Radiation therapy occupies the first place among effective methods of treatment.

Benign tumors of the spine

  1. Chordoma . The only tumor, the rudiments of which appear even in fetal development, but it begins to grow after 30 years. The affected area is the sacrum or coccyx. Symptoms depend on the location. Successfully treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery. But often there are relapses, especially when the chordoma has been excised, but not completely.
  2. Hemangioma. A benign neoplasm that is located in the body of the vertebrae. You can find out about its presence only with a complete diagnosis, since it has a very small size. the patient develops back pain that radiates along the nerve endings. The disease can last for years, but there is a risk of hemorrhage from the vessels and then the pain syndrome increases.

For any pain in the spine, it is recommended to undergo an examination so as not to miss the initial stage of the disease.

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