Spine cancer is one of the worst possible causes of back pain, but it should be noted that spinal tumors are not always painful. Cancer of the spine may originate in the vertebral column or spread there from another location. Most spinal tumors are non-cancerous, but it is still advised to consult with a specialist if you have been diagnosed with a tumor on or around the spine. Even if cancer is ruled out, the tumor may still be problematic and may require treatment or even surgical removal in some cases. Obviously, cancerous growths must be treated aggressively in order to preserve life and physical functionality.
This essay provides guidelines for recognizing and treating cancerous neoplastic processes in and around the spinal structures.
Primary cancer which originates in the spinal structures is rather rare. Far more common is the incidence of metastatic cancer spreading to the spine from another location, such as from the lungs, breast or brain.
Cancer can attack virtually any of the spine’s many structural elements, including the nerves, spinal cord, bones or any of the membranes which surround the spinal canal. Depending on the location of the tumor, symptoms may range from severe to non-existent and everywhere in between. Being that the spine is the many conduit of nerve energy in the body, any tumor which contacts or affects the spinal cord through compression may enact extremely dire consequences for the affected patient, ranging from neuropathy to paralysis conditions.
Many cancers are discovered due to symptomatic expressions in the back or neck. In these cases, pain may actually save the patient’s life, since the tumor would not have been found if it were not for the discomfort.
Every type of cancer has indicated and contraindicated therapy protocols which are widely accepted and many which fall under the category of alternative treatment. There is no universal rule for treatment of cancerous growths on or near the spine, but most will require some form of drastic medical therapy.
Surgical removal of cancers is possible and a common practice. Surgery on the spine is always a risky endeavor, but in some circumstances, may be unavoidable. When tumors grow on the actual spinal cord or surrounding inner membranes, the risk is heightened considerably and many patients will suffer permanent neurological deficits from surgical intervention.
Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, laser therapy and a variety of complementary approaches are also used for patients with some forms of spinal cancer.
Mindbody treatments are also almost universally utilized in modern cancer care. This is because physicians have demonstrated the power of the mind in helping to manage pain and annihilate cancer cells in patients who use visualization, meditation and biofeedback.
It is always advised to discuss every treatment option with more than one doctor before deciding on the best course of action for your particular form of cancer.
Many patients have found out that cancer treatment can be worse than the actual disease. This is why medical science continues to pioneer therapies which can effectively defeat cancer without causing the catastrophic damage to healthy tissues common to some forms of radiation and chemotherapy. A few patients who have been through cancer treatment actually choose to take their chances with the disease itself rather than face another round of chemotherapy and radiation if they suffer a recurrence.
Be sure to discuss the risks and side effects of any therapy option with your care providers when considering your treatment strategy. Remember that some treatments can also severely damage the spinal nerves and structures, leaving permanent injury in their wake. In many cases, cancer back pain is actually caused by the therapies and not the disease itself.
There are more therapy options available now than ever before, including holistic and all-natural care practices. Some of these might be effective, while others might be completely useless. This is why it is so important to consider all aspects of care, mind and body, when faced with a challenge as serious as cancer of the spine.