Spinal tumor is an abnormal growth that develops on the spine. Spinal tumors can be either benign or malignant. In this article we will deal with different types of spinal tumors.
Benign Spinal Tumors
Primary benign spinal tumors can be classified into five common types. They include:
Aneurismal Bone Cysts
An aneurismal bone cyst (ABC) is not a real tumor but tumor-like cyst. These cysts usually develop in the posterior region of the lumbar spine. Women are more susceptible to these cysts than men. ABC tumors are common in adolescents and young adults.
Giant Cell Tumor
Giant cell tumor (GCT) is an aggressive type of spinal tumor than tends to form in the sacrum and anterior regions of the spinal column. This spinal tumor is most commonly seen in women aged between 30 and 40 years.
Hemangioma is a type of spinal tumor that develops in the thoracic and lumbar region of the spine. Hemagioma is common in women between 30 and 40 years of age. This type of spinal tumor rarely causes problems.
Osteoid Osteoma is a common form of benign spinal tumor. It is usually found in the posterior region of the lumbar spine. Men aged between 20 and 40 years are most commonly affected by osteoid osteoma. This spinal tumor may lead to deformity of the spine.
Osteoblastoma is a type of spinal tumor similar to osteoid osteoma and generally form in the posterior area of the lumbar spine. However, unlike osteoid osteoma, this type of tumor is aggressive and somewhat rare. Men between 20 and 30 years of age are most commonly affected by osteoblastoma.
Malignant Spinal Tumors
Primary malignant spinal tumors include:
Chordoma is a malignant spinal tumor that generally affects males aged between 50 and 70 years. It is a rare and slow-growing tumor that tends to develop in the sacrum. Treatment for chordoma includes surgical removal of the growth. Sometimes, the surrounding nerves must be removed too if the tumor develops next to the nerve roots.
Osteosarcoma is a rare and highly malignant type of spinal tumor. It tends to quickly spread to the other body organs. Osteosarcoma is frequently seen in young males.
It is a cancerous spinal tumor that develops in the thoracic, lumbar and sacrum area of the spine. Chondrosarcoma grows slowly but may be difficult to treat as it often cannot be surgically removed and rarely responds to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Men over the age of 40 are most commonly affected by this type of tumor.
Plasmacytoma can develop as a single or multiple growth and is usually found in the thoracic or lumbar region of the spine. This type of spinal tumor is often discovered in men aged over 50 years.
It is a round cell tumor that most commonly affects people aged between 50 and 80. Multiple myeloma is the most common bone cancer.
This type of spinal tumor mostly affects children. This tumor is tends to develop in the sacral area of the spine. Ewing’s sarcoma is highly malignant with 5-year survival rate less than 20%.