A spinal tumour is a mass of tissue that develops inside or around the spinal cord and spinal column. These cells seem to expand and increase unrestrained by the processes that normally govern cell growth and proliferation. Spinal tumours may be either benign or malignant (cancerous). There are two types of spinal-cord tumours: primary and metastatic or secondary, both of which occur when cancer has metastasized to the spine from another location.
Symptoms of a tumour on your spine
Because everyone is unique, not everyone diagnosed with a spinal tumour will have the same set of symptoms. However, many of these symptoms are shared by most individuals with spine tumours.
Benign spinal tumours may cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Hand, foot, arm, and leg numbness or tingling
- Pain in the tumour region
- Pimples or nodules on the skin
- Sensitivity to heat, cold and pain is reduced
- The capability to walk is impaired
- The ability to walk or maintain one’s equilibrium is impaired
- Urinary or bowel inadequacy
Why do spinal tumours hurt at night?
A spine tumour may weaken bones and compress the spinal cord and nerves, leading to spinal fractures and neurologic damage. Because of these changes, pain is often the first sign of a spinal tumour. The sort of discomfort you’re experiencing might tell you a lot about your tumour.
If you get back pain that worsens when you sit or stand, the tumour is likely weakening or unstable your spine’s bones. Tumours often appear with nighttime or early morning pain that lessens with movement. This is because adrenal glands do not produce hormones when you sleep. Thus, the inflammation caused by tumours causes this discomfort.
Does pain from a spinal tumour come and go?
The spine may be affected in many ways. The same action that causes pain might also ease it. For example, discs in your neck and lower back may hurt when you bend forward.
The extra pressure in this position causes the familiar twinges of discomfort. But as you lean back, the same facet joints are compressed and sore. The tension on irritated nerves is different in each position. Your body’s posture may affect flare-ups and daily changes in pain.
How do you know if your back pain is serious?
Acute and chronic pain may be very much alike when it comes to symptoms. For example, pain in the lower back might involve the following:
- When you’ve tried home cures such as ice, over-the-counter drugs, massage, or physical therapy, but the pain hasn’t gone away or come back
- Regular tightness or stiffness, particularly after lengthy durations of lying, sitting or standing.
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Weakness in the lower extremities
Should I worry about a benign tumour?
Even though most benign tumours are not life-threatening, many different forms of benign tumours have the potential to advance to cancer (malignancy) via a process known as tumour progression. Some benign tumours are surgically removed because of this and the possibility of other detrimental health consequences.
How is spinal cancer diagnosed?
Several tests may assist your doctor find out whether you have a spinal tumour if they suspect it:
- Spinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): MRI analyses your spine, spinal cord, and nerves using a strong magnetic field and radio waves. It is often used to detect spinal cord and adjacent tissue tumours. In addition, contrast agents may be injected into a vein in your hand or forearm during the exam to enhance certain tissues and structures.
- Computerised tomography (CT): A concentrated radiation beam is used to take high-resolution pictures of your spine. An injected contrast dye might help reveal the spinal canal or spinal cord abnormalities in certain cases. However, it is rare to diagnose spinal tumours using a CT scan.
- Biopsy: A biopsy of a tiny piece of tissue is the only approach to diagnose a spinal tumour accurately. Treatment choices will be determined based on the biopsy findings.
Treatments for spinal cancer include:
Doctors may remove the malignancy entirely if the tumour is restricted to a single section of the spinal column. Doctors may conduct the bare minimum of surgery on metastatic spinal tumours to alleviate symptoms.
Chemotherapy medications may be either orally as pills or injected directly into the vein. Certain spinal tumours may be treated when medications are injected directly into the cerebrospinal fluid.
3. Radiation therapy
After a tumour has been surgically removed, it is customary to employ radiation treatment for spinal cancer to eliminate any remaining cancer cells that may have survived.
If your back pain continues or worsens despite your efforts at self-care, consult a doctor. Many factors may contribute to the development of back discomfort. However, early detection is recommended because of the possibility of spine cancer.