Tumours of the spine are relatively rare when compared to other degenerative conditions or injuries of the spine; but they are potentially very serious conditions and may require surgery.
What are the most common tumours of the spine?
Most tumours of the spine involve the bones of the spine directly. This is often “metastases” which occur from cancers which have started elsewhere in the body from conditions such as breast, lung, prostate or kidney cancer and are then spread to the spinal column via the blood stream.
Spinal tumours of the blood including myeloma and plasmacytoma can occur within any bone of the body and then spread to the spine.
What are other tumours of the spine?
Other benign (non-cancerous) spinal tumours of the spinal canal include schwannoma and neurofibroma. Although benign they are not always safe as they can grow and take up space within the spinal cord or the nerve roots, and damage these structures.
Less common tumours of the spinal cord can be more aggressive and include astrocytoma and ependymoma.