Having a tumor in any part of your body is risky because if it is not diagnosed early, it might complicate and spread to other body parts. Spinal tumors are very serious and risky because they can cause paralysis, especially if they compress the nerves in your spine. Therefore, leaving you experiencing pain and discomfort in the back and losing function to the organ supplied by the compressed nerves. In this case, if you have a family history of spinal tumors, reach out to Jeff Pan MD for help to understand the various ways of dealing with spinal tumors. Below are a few treatment options for spinal tumors.
1. Radiation therapy
It is a procedure that involves sending a beam of radiation through your body to target the tumor. The aim of passing the beam through your body is to destroy or shrink the tumor. Some health care specialists also use stereotactic radiosurgery, another radiation therapy that involves sending multiple beams from different angles to help preserve healthy cells but still targets the tumor in your spine. Each beam of radiation is usually low power, but since multiple of them are used, they meet at the tumor and intensify, thus causing it to shrink. Radiation therapy is usually used after spinal tumor surgery to destroy any remaining tumor cells. It is also used when the spinal tumor is inoperable to help shrink it before surgery.
Pain medications are given to help alleviate pain. Common pain medications are opioids, nerve pain, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
In some cases, corticosteroids may be prescribed to help reduce inflammation and tumor size.
Generally, immunotherapy drugs used when you have spinal tumors are a new treatment still under study. Still, it aims at stimulating the immune system to start attacking abnormal cells in the body. Some evidence shows thus immunotherapy drugs can also shrink spinal tumors.
Chemotherapy drugs can be taken orally or intravenously to target all cancer cells in your entire body. Even though chemotherapy has not been proven to target spinal cord tumors, it is considered part of the overall treatment of cancer.
In some cases, spinal cord tumors may be discovered even before they start causing any symptoms, especially when you are being evaluated for another condition. And if your care provider finds that the tumor is small and is not growing or pressing on surrounding tissues, it is essential to wait and monitor closely.
It is usually the treatment of choice for tumors that can be removed because they increase your risk of nerve or spinal cord injury damage. The main goals of surgery are to remove all the tumors as much as possible, maintain spinal stability and preserve neurological function.
Before accepting any form of treatment for spinal tumors, it is essential to understand the benefits and potential risks to ensure you make the best decision concerning your treatment. Therefore, if you have tumors on your spine and have difficulty deciding which treatment option is best for you, call Jeff Pan, M.D today and ask more about the benefits and risks associated with each available treatment.