Treatments and Conditions

The OHSU Spine Center offers a full range of treatments for spinal tumors. The goal is to remove the tumor completely, but doctors also need to prevent permanent damage to nearby nerves. Your doctor will also consider:

  • Your age
  • Your general health
  • The type of spinal tumor
  • Whether it is primary (started in the spine) or secondary (spread to your spine from another part of your body)
  • Other factors 

Pre-treatment Plan

At your first appointment, your doctor will have reviewed your comprehensive health questionnaire. Your answers give the doctor detailed information about your pain and ability to function. This will help determine how serious your symptoms are  and what treatments will be most helpful. 

Conservative (Non-Surgical) Treatment 

Spinal tumors are sometimes found before they cause any symptoms, often when you're being evaluated for another condition. If you have a small, benign spinal tumor that is not growing or pressing on nearby tissues, watching it might be the best treatment option. This is especially true if you are not healthy enough for surgery or radiation. Your doctor will examine you and recommend X-rays or MRI scans to see if the tumor is growing.  

Surgical Treatment

If you have a malignant spinal tumor, your spine doctor will work with doctors at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute to determine the best treatment for you.  

If you have a benign spinal tumor that causes severe symptoms, you and your doctor might decide on surgery to remove it.