What's the treatment for spinal cord tumor?
The goal of treatment is to reduce or prevent nerve damage from compression of the spinal cord. The most important aspect of treatment is that it be given quickly, so any new or unexplained back pain in a patient with cancer should be taken seriously. Corticosteroids, such as dexamethasone, reduce inflammation and swelling and may temporarily reduce
Surgery may be needed to relieve compression on the spinal cord. Some tumors can be completely removed. In other cases, a portion of the tumor may be removed to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord. In some cases of primary bone tumors, all that be needed is observation. In most cases of intramedullary, intradural-extramedullary and metastatic tumors more aggressive intervention will be indicated. In general, the intramedullary and intradural-extramedullary tumors are treated with surgical resection. Metastatic tumor treatment depends on the state of the cancer, the neurological condition of the patient and the appearance of the imaging studies. Radiation therapy may be used in addition to - or in some cases, instead of - surgery. Chemotherapy has not been developed that has proven effective against most spinal tumors, but it may be recommended in some cases.
Physical therapy and other interventions may be needed to improve muscle strength and to improve the ability to function independently when permanent neurologic losses occur.