Causes of Spinal Tumours

Spinal tumours can arise due to various factors, with the primary cause being spinal metastasis. This condition typically occurs in individuals over 30 and involves cancerous cells spreading from other body parts, such as the breast, prostate, thyroid, lungs, and kidneys. Often, these patients have a history of malignant tumours elsewhere. Another, less frequent type is primary spinal tumours, usually seen in patients under 30.

Recognising the Symptoms

Spinal tumours manifest in several ways:

  • Persistent pain at the tumour site.
  • General symptoms like fever, diminished appetite, or weight loss.
  • Vertebral destruction can lead to fractures, resulting in acute pain.
  • Compression of nerves or the spinal cord might cause numbness or weakness.

Diagnosis of Spinal Tumours

Diagnosing spinal tumours involves various techniques:

  • Plain X-ray: Identifies the degree of vertebral damage at the painful area.
  • MRI with contrast: Confirms tumour presence, pinpoints its location, and assesses nerve or spinal cord compression.
  • Blood tests and other specific examinations: These help ascertain the tumour's origin, especially in metastasis-related cases.

Treatment Options

The treatment plan depends on factors like tumour type, response to chemotherapy and radiation, spinal stability, and the extent of nerve or spinal cord compression. Treatment modalities might include:

  • Surgical intervention.
  • Radiation therapy.
  • Chemotherapy.