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Spinal Cancer Symptoms

Spinal cancer symptoms may be difficult to recognize, especially in individuals who have no previous history of cancer. This is because the first sign of spinal cancer is typically back pain, which can be caused by many other conditions that are more common. The pain associated with spinal cancer, however, is unrelated to physical activity and may progress from the area of the tumor out to the extremities.

In addition to pain, spinal cancer symptoms may include a variety of neurological effects, especially if the tumor grows and compresses the spinal cord. Depending on the location of the tumor, the neurological symptoms a person with spine cancer may experience include:

  • Decreased sensitivity to heat, cold, and pain
  • Loss of sensation in the extremities
  • Difficulty coordinating movements or walking
  • Numbness or muscle weakness in the extremities
  • Changes in bladder or bowel function

These symptoms typically do not appear until a fairly late stage of the cancer, so it is important to see a doctor immediately, especially if any neurological symptoms begin to appear.

Tampa General Hospital’s specialists are dedicated to the treatment of many forms of central and peripheral nervous system cancers, including spinal tumors. Our team of medical professionals is highly experienced with creating treatment plans, which may involve surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy depending on the nature of the tumor and the patient’s individual condition. We also use state-of-the-art equipment such as our intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) and stereotactic guidance equipment, which aids us during treatment and helps improve results.

For a physician referral, please use our PhysicianFinder tool or call (813) 844-2200.