The cause of other spinal tumors is not always clear. It may be from genetics and the environment.
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
A weak immune system
History of cancer
Small tumors may not cause any health problems. Larger tumors may press on or affect nearby nerves or blood vessels. The most common health problem is back pain that was not caused by an injury. The pain may get worse over time and spread to the hips, legs, or arms.
Other health problems will depend on the area of the tumor. A person may have:
Problems sensing cold, heat, or pain in the legs, arms, or chest
Loss of muscle strength in the legs, arms, or chest
Problems using the arms and legs for basic tasks like walking
Loss of bladder and bowel control
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam may be done. Neurological tests may also be done to look for the source of back or neck problems.
Pictures of the spine will be taken. This can be done with:
Spinal cord tumor. University of California San Francisco Medical Center website. Available at: http://www.ucsfhealth.org/conditions/spinal_cord_tumor. Accessed October 28, 2020.
Spinal tumors. American Association of Neurological Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Spinal%20Tumors.aspx. Accessed October 28, 2020.
Spinal tumors. University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center website. Available at: http://www.mdanderson.org/patient-and-cancer-information/cancer-information/cancer-types/spinal-tumors/index.html. Accessed October 28, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD
Last Updated: 5/4/2021
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