June 22, 2024

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What is a spinal tumor? How to treat it?

What is a spinal tumor? How to treat it?


What is a spinal tumor and How to treat it?   The anatomical structure of the spine is special, and it is difficult to complete the operation, especially for tumors involving multiple segments or high spine, which requires extremely high surgical techniques. Therefore, patients who suspect spinal tumors should consult with experienced experts in regular hospitals.

What is a spinal tumor How to treat it?

In recent years, the incidence of spinal tumors has been increasing year by year, seriously threatening people’s health and lives, and has attracted great attention. A major feature of spinal tumors is that they are diverse in categories, and the corresponding treatment methods and prognosis are also different.

What is a spinal tumor? How to treat it?


1. What is spinal tumor?

Spinal tumors are tumors that occur in the spine, which can be divided into primary and metastatic according to the source. Primary spinal tumors refer to tumors that originate in the bone tissue of the spine or its subsidiary tissues, and spinal metastases refer to tumors formed by malignant tumors from other parts of the body that have metastasized to the spine.

(1) Benign primary tumor

The common ones are osteoid osteoma, schwannoma, hemangioma, osteochondroma, etc., and timely surgical treatment has a good prognosis. Some of the tumors that develop slowly, do not need treatment when symptoms do not appear, but still need regular review.

(2) Malignant primary tumor

Typical examples include giant cell tumor of bone (borderline), chordoma, myeloma, osteosarcoma, and chondrosarcoma. These tumors are cruel, aggressive, and destroy normal tissues in large areas. They often require extensive resection, combined with radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

(3) Malignant metastatic tumor

Malignant tumors such as lung cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and thyroid cancer may metastasize to the spine and form spinal metastases. All spinal metastases are malignant tumors. Appropriate surgery can relieve symptoms and appropriately improve the prognosis, but the key lies in the treatment of the primary tumor.



2. Common sites for spinal tumors?

Vertebral body and accessories: more common in metastatic tumors and primary malignant tumors. Among them, hemangioma and giant cell tumor of bone mostly occur in the vertebral body.

Intraspinal canal: mainly spinal tumors, which are divided into three types: extramedullary subdural, intramedullary, and epidural according to the location of the lesion. Among them, extramedullary subdural is the most common type, such as schwannomas, meninges Tumor etc.

Paraspine: Neurilemoma is common.




3. Clinical manifestations of spinal tumors?

The early symptoms of spinal tumors are not obvious, and they are very similar to the symptoms of other common spinal diseases and are easy to overlook. Most spinal tumors are often in the middle and late stages when they are diagnosed, which brings certain difficulties to treatment. The typical clinical manifestations of spinal tumors include local pain, neurological dysfunction, local masses or spinal deformities.

Pain: The earliest and most common symptom, manifested as gradually worsening low back pain, caused by bone destruction by tumor. Nocturnal pain may occur, which is often difficult to relieve when the condition is severe.

Numbness and weakness of limbs: The nerves in the spinal canal are compressed, and some early symptoms of compression appear.

Spinal deformities and mobility disorders: pain caused by tumors and destruction of spine bones, causing symptoms such as kyphosis, scoliosis, and limited mobility of the lower back.

Paralysis and incontinence: The tumor destroys the bones, causes pathological fractures, or directly invades the spinal cord nerves, resulting in nerve function damage that is difficult to recover.



4. What examinations are needed to diagnose spinal tumors?

(1) X-ray, CT, MRI (nuclear magnetic resonance): It can clarify the bone destruction, determine the tumor location, size, and relationship with nerves, etc., and play a vital role in the determination of the surgical plan and the prognosis evaluation.

(2) Spinal biopsy: Needle biopsy clarifies the pathological nature of tumors and is the “gold standard” for tumor diagnosis.

(3) Whole body bone scan and PET-CT: have a significant role in the diagnosis of metastatic bone tumors.

(4) Biochemical measurement: blood is drawn to detect related tumor markers, such as CA125, AFP, alkaline phosphatase, M protein, etc.

(5) Genetic testing: guide the screening of targeted drugs.




5. How to treat?

Spinal tumors are mostly unkind, extremely harmful and insidious. The spine is like a load-bearing wall in a house, and the tumor is like a termite in the wall. If it is not removed, it will continue to destroy the surrounding normal tissues, and sooner or later, the beam will collapse.

Surgery is the first choice for primary spinal tumors. The purpose is to remove the lesion as much as possible, relieve the compression of the spinal cord and nerve roots, improve symptoms, and prolong survival. Surgical removal can cure most primary benign spinal tumors.

Invasive and malignant spinal tumors (including primary and metastatic) have already been able to fight guerrilla warfare, and need to combine surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, biological therapy and other methods to comprehensively suppress them. The prognosis of metastatic spinal tumors is relatively poor. .

Finally, experts reminded that the anatomical structure of the spine is special, and it is difficult to complete surgical resection, especially for tumors involving multiple segments or high spine, which requires extremely high surgical techniques. Therefore, the spine is suspected Patients with tumors should promptly consult experienced experts in regular hospitals.


(source:internet, reference only)

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