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Diagnosis / Spine Tumors

Your spine is a flexible column of linked bones (vertebrae), muscles, tendons, and other tissues that go from the base of your skull to your tailbone. It includes three protective membranes that encase your spinal cord and fluid.

Spine tumors and spine cancer can develop in the bones, nerves, and other tissues that make up the spine, which facilitates movement and supports your body.

Less than 10% of spine tumors begin in the spine (primary tumors). Most tumors in the spine are metastatic; they spread from cancer that originated in another part of the body.

Types of Spine Tumors

Most primary and metastatic spine tumors are epidural tumors. Epidural tumors grow in the bones of your spine. Tumors in the spinal column may cause back pain from expansion of the bone or from weakening the bone, which can result in a compression fracture, pinching of the nerves, or spinal instability.

Spine tumors can also be intradural, and grow within the spinal cord (intramedullary) or outside the spinal cord (extramedullary).

Symptoms of a Spine Tumor

The following general symptoms may be associated with a spinal tumor:

  • Pain in the neck or back, followed by neurological problems (weakness or numbness of the arms or legs or a change in normal bowel or bladder habits)
  • Focal spine pain that is worse in the morning
  • Pain that is severe when there is direct manipulation or compression of the affected area of the spine
  • Pain that does diminish with rest, and pain that may be worse at night than during the day
  • Back pain along with loss of appetite, unplanned weight loss, nausea, vomiting, fever or chills

Diagnosis of a Spine Tumor

The following may be used to diagnose a spine tumor:

  • Complete medical history
  • Complete physical exam
  • Complete neurological exam
  • Radiographic studies of the spine, chest and GI system to screen for tumors
  • MRI and CAT scans to examine the spine
  • Biopsy

IVC’s Treatments for Spine Tumors

At IVC, we offer minimally invasive treatments for painful refractory bone metastases to the spine. Thermal ablation, using radiofrequency ablation (RFA), microwave ablation, or cryoablation have proven highly effective in alleviating the intense pain experienced by patients with bone metastases.

Call IVC today at 503-612-0498 to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also read our brochure on Interventional Oncology.

* This information about Spine Tumors was reviewed by Dr. Jason R. Bauer. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using the form below.

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We are announcing that Interventional and Vascular Consultants will be closing as of March 10, 2023.

We would like to thank you for the trust you have given us over the years, participating in your healthcare needs has been a privilege.

To assist in a smooth transition to a new provider, you may access your records from your MyHealth account or request a copy of medical records by clicking the link below and completing the Release of Information form.

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Please know that we have greatly valued our relationship with you and wish you the best.


Jason Bauer, MD RVT
Michael Pfister, MD RVT

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