Presenting History and Common Symptoms of Spine Tumors

  • Daniel Shedid
  • Edward C. Benzel
Part of the Current Clinical Oncology book series (CCO)


Spinal tumors may cause a variety of symptoms depending on their type, location, and rate of growth. The symptomatology differs depending on tumor location (e.g., extradural or vertebral column vs intradural-extramedullary vs intramedullary). Vertebral column tumors are divided into primary and metastatic. Primary tumors include neoplasms of the marrow (e.g., multiple myeloma), and tumors of the bone or the cartilage of the spine (1). Metastatic spinal pathology is much more common than primary neoplastic pathology. The spine is the most common site of skeletal metastasis (2). A spinal metastasis is found in as many as 70 to 90% of patients dying of cancer (3,4). The most common tumors that metastasize to the spine are tumors of the lung, breast, prostate, kidney, lymphoma, melanoma, and gastrointestinal tract (5). In the pediatric population, spinal metastasis commonly arise from neuroblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, leukemia, and histiocytosis; less commonly from lymphoma, Wilms’ tumor, and primitive neuroectodermal tumor (6). Meningiomas and nerve sheath tumors (schwannomas and neurofibromas) comprise the overwhelming majority of the intradural-extramedullary tumors. Astrocytoma, ependymoma, and hemangioblastoma account for the majority of the intramedullary tumors.


Nerve Root Sensory Loss Nerve Sheath Tumor Spinal Metastasis Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, Inc., Totowa, NJ 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Shedid
    • 1
  • Edward C. Benzel
    • 1
  1. 1.The Cleveland Clinic Spine InstituteThe Cleveland Clinic FoundationCleveland

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