Spine Tumor Clinic
UW Health's Spine Medicine
specialists provide a multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and management of spine tumors.
What are spinal tumors?
Spinal tumors are abnormal growths found inside the spinal column. There are two types of spinal tumors:
- Primary: These tumors originate in the spine and are very rare.
- Secondary: These tumors originate elsewhere and spread to the spinal column. These tumors are also called metastatic tumors.
Primary tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). All secondary tumors are malignant.
Spine tumors are usually detected because patients feel back pain unrelated to movement. This type of back pain cannot be improved through inactivity or physical rehabilitation.
Other symptoms include:
- Partial paralysis
Treating Spine Tumors
The treatment of spinal tumors depends upon many factors, including tumor type, presence of paralysis, medical conditions and the preferences of the patient.
UW Health's multidisciplinary team of surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and other practitioners develop individualized treatment plans. Plan goals include reducing pain, maximizing neurologic function and patient quality-of-life.
Surgical treatment may include:
- Tumor resection
- Neurologic decompression
- Surgical stabilization of the cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral spine
- Percutaneous treatments such as vertebroplasty and radiofrequency ablation or cryotherapy
These treatments can be combined with other treatment modalities, such as chemotherapy or radiation.