Telltale Signs of Spinal Tumors You Should Know

Telltale Signs of Spinal Tumors You Should Know

Every year, about 25,000 Americans (adults and kids) are diagnosed with brain or spinal cord tumors. Although uncommon, malignant tumors can be life-threatening, with a five-year survival rate ranging from 6%-92% depending on the tumor type and the patient’s age. 

Unlike breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer where routine recommended screenings help identify tumors early, there are no recommended screening guidelines for spinal tumors. 

Knowing what symptoms to look for plays a key role in ensuring diagnosis and treatment occur as early as possible.

A leading complex spine neurosurgeon, David Chang, MD-PhD, DABNS, offers cutting-edge treatment options for spine tumors in the Roseville, Minnesota, area. In this post, we review what symptoms you should look for, so you can schedule an evaluation right away.

Spinal tumors: Malignant vs. benign

Tumor is a word that scares most people, but the word just means a mass of abnormal tissue growth. Beyond that commonality, tumors can vary a lot in terms of how they grow and how they affect your health and wellness. 

One major difference is whether a tumor is benign or malignant.

Benign tumors tend to grow slowly, often stopping growth at a specific point. These tumors don’t invade neighboring areas, but they can still cause serious symptoms and health problems.

Malignant tumors tend to grow more rapidly, although some can be slow-growing. The key difference is that malignant tumors invade neighboring tissues and spread to other parts of your body over time — sometimes very quickly.

Spinal tumors can be either benign or malignant, but while treatment can vary dramatically, both types can cause relatively similar symptoms, at least in their earlier stages.

Symptoms to look for

Symptoms of both benign and malignant tumors can vary from one person to another depending on where the tumor is located, the type of tumor, its growth rate, and other factors. Some of the more common symptoms include:

Thes symptoms may be mild at first, becoming severe as the tumor grows.

In addition to pressing on neighboring tissues, spinal tumors can also irritate and compress nerves as they exit your spine and travel to other parts of your body. That’s why spinal tumors can cause pain and other symptoms in your arms, legs, or other areas, in addition to back pain.

Have your symptoms evaluated

Dr. Chang has extensive experience in treating all types of spinal tumors, tailoring every treatment to each patient’s specific needs. 

If you have persistent or worsening symptoms like the ones listed above, don’t put off having them evaluated. Call 651-219-7292 or request an appointment online with Dr. Chang today.

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