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Specialists in the Field of Spinal Tumors
Information About the Field of Spinal Tumors
What Are Spinal Tumors?
A tumor refers to an increase in the volume of tissue in the body. There can be various underlying causes. Colloquially, the term is most often used to express cancer. Spinal tumors are cancerous tumors located in the spinal column. These can be primary tumors originating in the spine, and secondary tumors, arising elsewhere, have developed from washed in other tissues' tumor cells.
Which Spinal Tumors Are Known?
Primary spinal tumors are relatively rare; they arise from the vertebral bodies' cells and grow very slowly. In general, the tumors can arise from the bone, cartilage, blood vessels, connective tissue, and blood cells.
Benign Spinal Tumors
Benign tumors are easily distinguishable from surrounding tissue and grow and displace them slowly. Besides, they usually do not metastasize to other tissues. Benign spinal tumors include:
- Osteoid osteoma
- Fibrous histiocytomas
- Aneurysmal bone cysts
- Eosinophilic granulomas
Malignant Spinal Tumors
Malignant tumors usually grow rapidly, do not adhere to boundaries with adjacent tissues, and spread to other parts of the body via blood or lymph channels. Malignant spinal tumors include:
- Ewing's sarcomas
Metastases occur relatively frequently in the spine, in contrast to primary tumors. Unlike most primary tumors, metastases are often invasive and destructive, meaning they destroy the vertebral body, leading to the spine's instability and deformity. The most common types of tumors metastasizing to the spine are breast cancer , prostate cancer , lung cancer , and renal cancer .
Symptoms and Frequency of Spinal Tumors
Primary spine tumors often remain asymptomatic for more extended periods and are often discovered at random, such as imaging for other medical conditions. The most common and first symptom of spinal metastases is pain, which can occur in the affected segment of the spine and in the regions of the body that are supplied by the corresponding nerves from the spine. The pain is caused by damage to the periosteum of the vertebral bodies, which is sensitive to pain, unlike the bone itself. The inflammation caused by the invading cancer cells further stimulates the pain. Some metastases cause a remodeling process to the vertebral bodies that releases calcium into the blood. The high calcium level causes kidney dysfunction and can lead to cardiac arrhythmias .
Treatment of Spinal Tumors and Metastases
Radiation therapy is one of the three fundamental pillars of cancer therapy, along with surgery and chemotherapy . In this method, cancer cells are destroyed with the help of ionizing radiation or particle radiation. The radiation damages the DNA of the cells to such an extent that they perish. Tumors can be reduced in size or even entirely treated with this therapy.
Proton therapy is an exact radiation therapy method that represents a new, gentle way of treating cancer. Clinical studies have shown that patients with chondromas and chondrosarcomas, which can be primary tumors of the spine, benefit from this type of radiation therapy.
Surgical removal of the tumor forms the third pillar of cancer therapy . It can also have diagnostic value; for example, samples of the tumor can be taken and examined under a microscope. Tumors that are well demarcated from the spinal cord can be well removed.
Another possible therapy for spinal tumors is Cyberknife radiation. In contrast to conventional radiotherapy, precise radiosurgery can successfully destroy the tumor in a high dose in a usually single application. The healthy, sensitive tissue in the area of the spine and spinal cord is spared. Strict criteria apply to the procedure, which is examined in advance.
Healing Chances for Spinal Tumors
The chances of recovery are very individual and depend, among others, on:
- Time of initial diagnosis
- Type of tumor
- The spread of the tumor
- Size of the tumor
- The patient’s age and general condition
- Response to treatment method
Which Doctors and Clinics Are Specialised in the Treatment of Spinal Tumors?
Since, in most cases, spinal tumors are metastases of primary tumors from other body tissues, the tumors are usually discovered by specialists in gynecology, urology, or oncology, since they take care of the primary tumor, for example, in the breast, prostate, or other tissues. Specialists in neurosurgery perform surgery on the spine . Doctors from radiotherapy and radio oncology take care of spinal tumor radiation. In so-called tumor boards of the municipal hospitals and university clinics, physicians of the various medical fields meet and discuss the patient's case to determine an individual interdisciplinary therapy plan.
We will help you find an expert for your disease. All listed physicians and clinics have been reviewed by us for their outstanding specialization in spine tumors and are awaiting your inquiry or treatment request.
- Wannemacher et al. (Hrsg.): Strahlentherapie . 2. Auflage. Springer 2013, ISBN 3-540-88304-5.
- Piper: Innere Medizin . 2. Auflage. Springer 2012, ISBN 978-3-642-33107-7.
- Wirth et al.: Facharztprüfung Orthopädie und Unfallchirurgie, 1000 kommentierte Prüfungsfragen . 2. Auflage. Thieme 2013, ISBN 978-3-131-40652-1.
- Grifka, Krämer: Orthopädie Unfallchirurgie . 9. Auflage. Springer 2013, ISBN 978-3-642-28875-3.
- Herold et al.: Innere Medizin . Eigenverlag 2012, ISBN 978-3-981-46602-7.
- Böcker et al.: Pathologie . 3. Auflage. Urban & Fischer 2004, ISBN 3-437-44470-0.
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