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Doctor insights on: Stage 4 Spinal Tumor Prognosis

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Neoplasms (Definition)

"tumor" literally translates as "mass", so even a fresh bruise could be called a "tumor". Doctors use the term "neoplasm" (tranlates literally as new growth) to describe tumors that are abnormal growths of cells. These may be benign or malignant; "malignant" = cancer. In everyday usage, we use "tumor" ...Read more


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I think I have symptoms of a spinal tumor. What tests would I need to take?

I think I have symptoms of a spinal tumor. What tests would I need to take?

Possibly MRI: See a doctor for a history and physical and ask if your symptoms merit MRI or other tests. Spinal cord tumors are not common. ...Read more

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Which is more serious? A spinal tumor or spinal cyst?

Which is more serious? A spinal tumor or spinal cyst?

Difficult to answer,: Because it depends on the type of tumor, along with the size/location of the tumor or cyst. ...Read more

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What are the risks associated with removing a spinal tumor?

What are the risks associated with removing a spinal tumor?

Paralysis, etc.: This depends on where the tumor is and how complex it is. Some, like ependymomas are benign, but can be in the center of the spinal cord, making removal all but impossible. If the tumor is wrapped around the spinal cord, removal might be possible, but the cord can be damaged, and complications like paralysis can occur. If a nerve is compressed, pain can occur, or numbness. ...Read more

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Pain in upper back since 2 years but now it is very severe? Could it be due to spinal tumor?

Pain in upper back since 2 years but now it is very severe? Could it be due to spinal tumor?

Less likely: With the limited information you have given of chronic pain getting more severe over the past two years and nothing else going on in terms of movement or sensory issues I would say the likelihood of a spinal tumor is very very low. It certainly would be beneficial to be seen by a doctor and have at least x-ray studies done to try and figure out the problem. ...Read more

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Would a spinal Tumor on an MRI show as a tumor or would it show as an abnormality? Thankyou

Would a spinal Tumor on an MRI show as a tumor or would it show as an abnormality? Thankyou

It depends: Sometimes the tumors are so subtle that you cannot be certain. Many of the time the tumors will light up with contrast in which case you can be much more certain that it is tumor. But sometimes it is simply hard to tell and only biopsy will tell you if you have tumor which should be done only as a last resort because biopsying the spinal cord is fraught with danger. ...Read more

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What can be done for a spinal tumor?

What can be done for a spinal tumor?

Multiple options: Depending on size, location, pathology, and symptoms, a variety of options are available - surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, observation or combination. Proton beam therapy is a newer form of radiation treatment utilizing more precise proton energy rays that try to avoid or minimize collateral damage to vital parts like the spinal cord or the normal brain tissue. ...Read more

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What are the signs of a spinal tumor?

What are the signs of a spinal tumor?

Many: Symptoms depend on where in the spinal cord they are located as well as the type of tumor. They can cause pain, weakness, numbness, balance problems or difficulty with movement control. Also may present with loss of bladder control. Fortunately these tumors are rare. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of a spinal tumor?

What are the symptoms of a spinal tumor?

Depends: Tumor in the bone can present with just pain. However if it causes compression of the spinal cord or nerves it can present with paralysis, weakness, altered sensation, bowel/bladder incontinence etc. So basically depends on location along spinal column and whether or not it causes nerve or cord compression. ...Read more

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Can you tell me if I might have spinal tumor?

Can you tell me if I might have spinal tumor?

Spinal tumor: Impossible to answer the question. Why do you believe you might have a tumor? If you are having back related symptoms, best to see your doctor for evaluation. There are many other causes of back pain that are more common than tumors. ...Read more

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What can I do to slow the growth of a spinal tumor?

What can I do to slow the growth of a spinal tumor?

Depends on SC tumor.: This depends on the type of cns/spinal cord tumor you/someone might have. Astrocytomas get surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy while oligodendrogliomas do well with surgery and chemotherapy. Ependymomas, germinomas, and meningiomas can do very well with surgery alone. Tumors metastatic to the spinal cord must be detected early or can have grave consequences from compression of the cord. ...Read more

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I think I have symptoms of a spinal tumor, what should I do?

I think I have symptoms of a spinal tumor, what should I do?

See your primary doc: It would be difficult to verify a " spinal tumor", purely on symptoms. If you have neurological symptoms of loss of strength or sensation, it is important that you urgently see an md for further evaluation. Imaging including MRI may be required. If there is suspicion of a mass, biopsy may be required. Primary spinal tumors are rare. If there is a tumor, the origin of the tumor would be questioned. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of a middle back/spinal tumor? Is it rare?

What are the symptoms of a middle back/spinal tumor? Is it rare?

Yes, quite uncommon: But, what prompts your concerns? A variety of tumors may present over the thoracic vertebrae, some causing nocturnal pain responsive to aspirin, others compressing the spinal cord, resulting in urinary incontinence, leg weakness and numbness. Since often insidious, and slowly progressive, if there is high suspicion, would urge MRI study to pin down. ...Read more

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What is the risk for spinal tumor in healthy and active 23 year old male?

What is the risk for spinal tumor in healthy and active 23 year old male?

Rare as Martian....: ....Hen's Teeth! Spinal cord tumor comprise 0.05% of all primary tumors diagnosed and a good portion of those are benign. Malignant ones are more scattered than that. ...Read more

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Back hurst like nothing I ever felt, is there a chance I have spinal tumor.?

Back hurst like nothing I ever felt, is there a chance I have spinal tumor.?

Back pain is common: Back pain is a common problem and mostly related to a slip disc or injury you need MRI of back to determine why you have it and you must see a good doctor. A tumor is not impossible but a rare cause of presenting as back pain. ...Read more

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Is an exray of the spine and a spinal tap ok for testing for a spinal tumor? Had both tests and results were normal

Is an exray of the spine and a spinal tap ok for testing for a spinal tumor? Had both tests and results were normal

No tumor: The best test to look for a spinal tumor is an MRI (usually with contrast). A spinal tap can look for cancer cells in the fluid, but only if that specific test is ordered. An xray really only looks at the bones, not the spine. If there was a bony abnormality, an xray would show it. If your doc ordered a spinal tap, he was probably looking for something like inflammation, not tumor. Good luck! ...Read more

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Would a spinal Tumor show on an MRI scan?

Would a spinal Tumor show on an MRI scan?

Usually: Sometimes a spinal cord tumor, especially with extrinsic compression, can result in false localizing clinical signs, which could result in imaging at wrong level, but if precise, the MRI will show lesion. However, you say that you have B-12 issues, and this can cause spinal cord problems in posterior columns, which are also seen on MRI. Do you feel Concierge visit might help? ...Read more

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How to know if I have a brain or spinal tumor?

How to know if I have a brain or spinal tumor?

Exam is best: We usually have a pretty good idea if a tumor is present based on a patient's symptoms and physical exam. The best test to be done is an MRI (usually with contrast). Brain and spinal tumors, fortunately, are pretty uncommon. ...Read more

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What does it mean to have laminectomy for spinal tumor excision?

See below: To remove the posterior portion on the arch of the spinal canal to reduce pressure or compression on the cord itself. ...Read more

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Hi Doctors. How do I know if I have a brain or spinal tumor?

Hi Doctors. How do I know if I have a brain or spinal tumor?

1st, you see a doc: He or she will take a good medical history, do a good physical exam, and determine if you need labs or a scan. You can't tell otherwise and please don't try to self diagnose. ...Read more

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I have a low back disc herniation from 4 yrs ago, pain has come back. Physiatrist " disc flare up". Possibility this is a spinal tumor?

I have a low back disc herniation from 4 yrs ago, pain has come back. Physiatrist " disc flare up". Possibility this is a spinal tumor?

Unlikely: Spinal tumors are uncommon (do exist), with them more often looses sensation and muscle power not the pain you have, mostly is your disc, re evaluation by your doctor with MRI of spine etc need treatments if you have evidence of compression to the cord may even need surgery ...Read more

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Can an MRI scan see a small spinal Tumor? Thankyou

Yes, MRI is a great: Spinal tumors are best visualized with a MRI of the spine. But you must have some reasons/symptoms to suspect that you might have a tumor in that area? ...Read more

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Can a spinal Tumor be diagnosed from the one MRI scan? Would they know if it was a Tumor? Thanks

Can a spinal Tumor be diagnosed from the one MRI scan? Would they know if it was a Tumor? Thanks

Tumor: To answer your question, yes, but there are times when MRI has its limitations too. You should ask your physician what your concerns may be and also what his are regarding a formal diagnosis. ...Read more

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What does a SMALL spinal Tumor look like on an MRI scan? Can you tell it's a Tumor from looking at scan? Thanks

What does a SMALL spinal Tumor look like on an MRI scan? Can you tell it's a Tumor from looking at scan? Thanks

A tumor: Is an abnormal mass, and can have a variety of appearances on MRI depending on the type of tumor. Characterizing it as "small" is relative and inexact, particularly when accurate measurements can be obtained from the MRI scan. ...Read more

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Can MRI scan tell the difference from a Spinal Tumor to something else? Can they tell from MRI report if something is a Tumor? Worried, thanks

Can MRI scan tell the difference from a Spinal Tumor to something else? Can they tell from MRI report if something is a Tumor? Worried, thanks

MRI is good for this: MRI is the best test to see a tumor in the spine. A normal MRI report almost certainly means you do not have a tumor. However if you would like a second opinion, you can request a private consultation to review your images and put your mind at ease. ...Read more

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Is there anything I can take besides methadone for chronic pain? I have been on it for yrs status post spinal tumor removal. I get so hot from it.

Chronic Pain: Many of my patients with chronic pain benefit significantly from cymbalta (duloxetine). Ask your doctor if this medication would be appropriate for you. My best. ...Read more

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Had cervical CT in sept. All notmsl rxcept " shows some prevertabrel swelling " and patient motion. Scared. Spinal tumor?

Had cervical CT in sept. All notmsl rxcept " shows some prevertabrel swelling " and patient motion. Scared. Spinal tumor?

Soft findings: But why did you have the scan? Bone issues. Pain?, swallowing problem? Reading findings is like looking at one piece of a jigsaw puzzle, you need the whole picture and even then you may not know where the piece fits/. ...Read more

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After laminectomy for removal of spinal tumor at L3-4, will the spine still have the same strength for weight bearing and exercise as before surgery?

After laminectomy for removal of spinal tumor at L3-4, will the spine still have the same strength for weight bearing and exercise as before surgery?

It will take some ti: Laminectomy does weaken the spine for some time. You will have to let the area heal over a period of 3-4 weeks. Then gradually increase your activity to strengthen your back muscles. Walking is a good way to begin this process. A Physical therapist can better guide you in muscle strengthening exercises for your back. Over a period of 6 to 12 months you will regain most of your strength. But go slo ...Read more

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I have 1cm intra/extra spinal tumor at L4 with 3 nerves that appear to be in tumor. If removed, do most patients have chronic pain after surgery?

Varies: The outcome of resection of a tumor from your spinal column can vary significantly based upon multiple factors. Certainly one of the possible poor outcomes would be to have pain unrelieved or even worsened after surgery. I would discuss the likelihood of this happening directly with your surgeon. ...Read more

Prognosis (Definition)

The prognosis is the predicted outcome or "forecast" for a disease or process. It is only an estimate but is likely based on past experience or data taking into account the individual's overall health status. It may suggest progression of disease ...Read more


Dr. Nathan Simmons
96 Doctors shared insights

Spinal Tumor (Definition)

A growth that develops within your spinal canal or within the bones of your spine. It may ...Read more