Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: November 13, 2018
The biggest key to treating cancer of any kind is to catch it at an early stage, so it’s important to know what the symptoms you should watch for. It’s easier to spot the signs of some types of cancers, but spinal cancer isn’t one of them. So today, we want to highlight some of the signs of spinal cancer, and we’ll talk about your treatment options.
Spinal Cancer Symptoms
One of the biggest issues with spinal cancer identification is that symptoms can vary to a great degree and develop both slowly or very quickly. Sometimes symptoms develop within a matter of hours or days, or they may slowly worsen over a number of years. Here are some of the symptoms that suggest you should be evaluated by a spinal specialist.
- Spinal Pain – Spinal pain is the most common symptom of spinal cancer because it can develop for a variety of reasons. Pain can begin due to the tumor’s presence in and of itself, or how it compresses other structures or nerves.
- Numbness – If the tumor is pressing up against the spinal cord, you may feel numbness or a tingling sensation in your arms or legs.
- Weakness – As the disease progresses, spinal cancer can weaken certain structures and muscle groups. This can lead to difficulty walking, partial paralysis or fatigue.
- Difficulty Urinating – The tumor can also disrupt signals to and from our bladder, causing urination issues.
- Visible Spinal Deformity – If the tumor is affecting your spinal stability, it can actually shift your spinal column and you may notice a deformity like kyphosis or a hunchback.
Treating Spinal Cancer
Treatment depends on a number of factors, including where the cancer is located, how big the tumor is, and how certain treatment methods may affect nearby structures. Your spine specialist will walk you through all your treatment options, but the most common treatment techniques include:
- Surgical removal
- Radiation therapy
- Interventional Radiology
- Targeted Therapy
Your doctor can explain all of the above treatment options in more detail, but again, the sooner the cancer is discovered, the higher the likelihood that treatment will be successful. So if you are dealing with any of the symptoms we discussed above, do yourself a favor and contact a spinal specialist and make an appointment. For more information or to set up an appointment with Dr. Sinicropi, reach out to his clinic today.