Vertebral Tumor

What is a Vertebral Tumor?

A vertebral tumor is a type of spinal tumor that develops in the vertebrae or the bones of the spine, unlike spinal tumors, which develop in the spinal cord.

Oftentimes, a vertebral tumor is the result of metastasis, or the spread of a cancer from another part of the body to the spine. However, there are certain tumors that will begin in the spine’s bones.

Vertebral tumors can adversely affect neurological function as they put pressure on the nerve roots near the spinal cord or on the spinal cord itself. As a vertebral tumor continues to grow, vertebral fractures, spinal instability, and pain are likely to occur.

What are the Symptoms of a Vertebral Tumor?

The symptoms associated with a vertebral tumor will depend upon the type of cancer and the location of the tumor.

Common symptoms include:

  • Having trouble walking, and falling more often as a result
  • Experiencing less sensitivity to cold, heat, and pain
  • Back pain that often spreads to other areas of the body
  • Pain in the area where the tumor is growing
  • Loss of bladder function
  • Loss of bowel function
  • Paralysis in certain areas of the body, depending upon the nerves affected by the tumor

Vertebral Tumor Causes

Non-cancerous tumors result from abnormal growth of cells which can be caused by exposure to radiations mainly.

There are some chemicals that are responsible for causing cancers. The cancers can start from one part of the body and spread to the vertebrae resulting in vertebral tumors.

The growth of defective genes in the human body can also contribute to vertebral tumors.

Vertebral tumors can vary in how they grow. While cancerous tumors spread faster, non-cancerous tumors start from the vertebrae and spread, affecting the whole vertebral system.

The effects of cancerous and non-cancerous vertebral tumors are far reaching. The spread of the tumors can result into permanent health complications for the victim.

How is a Vertebral Tumor Treated?

The ultimate goal of treatment would be to remove the tumor, but this may not be possible because there is a risk of permanent damage to your spinal cord and nerves. Therefore, a doctor may recommend monitoring a tumor, especially if it isn’t cancerous.

Treatments designed to remove a vertebral tumor include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

Vertebral Tumor Prevention

For you to prevent vertebral tumors you need to develop understanding of its location; this will determine the type of medical process you go through.

It is equally vital to look at the health of the patient; this will ensure that the medication the doctors prescribe doesn’t work against the body but acts as a complimentary solution.

There are several treatments that a doctor may decide to use. These are radiotherapy, chemotherapy or a complete surgical procedure can be applied as one of the ways to prevent it.

Complete surgical procedures can be preferred when it’s considered less risky to the life of the patient.

Some doctors can apply the Embolization procedure that limits blood flow to the tumor in cases of cancer of the kidney and/or aneurismal bone cysts.

There are situations where a combination of treatments can be helpful and this is applicable when the patient has suffered from both cancerous and non-cancerous vertebral tumors. A mixed type of tumor calls for this decision.

Lastly, cancerous tumor patients resort to therapies based on their conditions.