There is no such thing as a routine spine tumor. Every patient’s spine tumor is different, driven by individually unique genes and molecules.

At the OSUCCC – James, our world-renowned spine tumor sub-specialists focus solely on spine tumors and reach across multiple disciplines (neuro-oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, radiation oncologists and more) to design the very best treatment plan to target each patient’s cancer.

Our Multidisciplinary Spine Tumor Clinic offers all newly diagnosed patients an on-site, thorough evaluation and treatment-options review with experts from neurologic radiation oncology, surgical oncology and medical oncology—all on the same day—so the patient and the experts can determine together the best personalized treatment options. These cases are presented weekly in our multidisciplinary spine tumor board conference.

And by having access to the country’s most advanced clinical trials at the OSUCCC – James, patients know that additional options are often available when needed for their treatment and care.

Dr Mendel Consults Patient

Facts About Spine Cancer

  • The spinal column is the most common site of bone metastasis, or the spread of primary tumors to bone from other sites in the body.
  • About 10,000 Americans develop primary or metastatic spine tumors each year.
  • Spine tumors affect people of all ages.
  • Primary spine tumors, or tumors that originate in the spine, are rare. Most spine tumors are metastatic, having spread to the spine from elsewhere in the body.
  • About 15 percent of spine cancer patients treated at the OSUCCC – James have primary tumors; the other 85 percent have metastatic tumors.
  • An estimated 10-30 percent of all cancer patients will suffer from symptomatic spinal metastases.
  • As many as 90 percent of cancer patients will have spinal metastases on autopsy studies.
  • The most common cancers that spread to the spine are breast, lung, renal and prostate.
  • Metastatic tumors can cause pain and compress nerves and the spinal cord. This can cause weakness or paralysis of arms or legs.

Types of Spine Tumors

Primary spine tumors are less common and originate in the spine; metastatic or secondary spine tumors are the most common type of spine tumors and result from cancer spreading from another part of the body to the spine. These spine tumors are classified by their location and the types of cells they contain. These tumors include osteosarcoma, chordoma, chondrosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma and Giant cell tumors.

Intradural extramedullary spine tumors grow within the layers of tissue that make up the spinal cord covering, which lies beneath the bone but above the spinal cord. These tumors include meningiomas, neurofibromas and schwannomas.

Intramedullary spine tumors grow from within the spinal cord. The two most common types of spinal cord tumors are astrocytomas and ependymonas.

Spine Tumor Symptoms

The majority of spine tumors are in the center of the back, but they also occur in the lower back or the neck region. The patient’s symptoms are determined by the location of the tumor.

Some patients have no symptoms, but the most common symptom of a spine tumor is pain. Patients may experience persistent back or neck pain. Other complaints may include numbness, tingling or weakness in the arms or legs, loss of manual dexterity, problems walking and maintaining balance, or problems with bowel and bladder function.

Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have a spine tumor. Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. But if you have symptoms, you should tell your doctor, especially if they have continued for longer than a few weeks.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a spine tumor, would like a second opinion or would like to speak with a spine cancer specialist, please call The James Line at 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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Patient Story

Maggie Wehri

Maggie Wehri

If this unforeseeable experience has taught me anything, it has brought out my key characteristic: resilience. I never knew I could be pushed down that far and still come up on top. Resilience sums up my...

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