Spinal Cord Cancer
Having a tumor of the spine can be very scary. Fortunately, advances in therapeutic intervention can offer much to most patients with this diagnosis.
The Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center has specialists who are committed to helping those with tumors of the spine clearly understand the diagnosis and also the many treatment options available. This will help you make an informed decision about the best plan of care.
The multidisciplinary, collaborative team in the Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center specializes in evaluation and treatment of patients with tumors of the spine.
Thorough Evaluation by Multiple Specialists
Tumors of the spine can present in many ways. Most often, patients will report pain, weakness, numbness or problems with walking. When these complaints are noted, your physician will complete a comprehensive evaluation that will include listening to your symptoms, completing a medical history and performing a specialized examination of our nervous system. This will likely include testing muscle strength, coordination, sensation, gait and balance, as well as cognitive assessment.
Following this, testing will then be performed to determine if a tumor does exist. This most frequently will include x-rays, CT scans and MRIs of the spine. Other special imaging including bone scans and PET scans may also be required. Patients with certain cancers are known to be at risk for developing tumors of the spine and may be screened for this. Your doctor may order one or more imaging tests to begin your spinal cancer treatment. These tests use x-rays, strong magnets, or radioactive substances to create pictures of the brain and spinal cord. The pictures may be looked at by doctors specializing in this field (neurosurgeons, neurologists, and neuroradiologists) as well as by your primary doctor.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT) scans are used for diseases of the spinal cord and brain. These digital scans are highly effective in detecting a spinal cord tumor. They can help your doctor better determine what type of tumor it might be, based on how it appears and where it is.
Once the imaging is completed, it will be analyzed by a specialized doctor called a neuro-radiologist who will collaborate with your physician team in understanding the results. This information will then be shared with you.
Multidisciplinary Team of Experts and Resources to Treat Spinal Cancer
Your journey begins. Once you have learned about having a tumor of the spine, the NWH Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center in Mt. Kisco, NY, provides access to a compassionate, multidisciplinary team of experts providing state-of-the art care for this diagnosis. The Center provides this care all in one place and close to home—including radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, specialized spine surgeons, pathologists, oncology nurses, and integrative medicine professionals. Our program includes:
- Access to advanced diagnostic testing in our all-digital Radiology Department.
- Radiologists, Pathologists and Oncologists work together to provide prompt results and the best treatment options.
- Avanced options in radiation therapy (Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy), are tailored to your spinal cancer treatment plan.
- Chemotherapy provided in the soothing setting of the Laurie Bass Sklaver Infusion Center.
- Use of the therapeutic services of the Health & Wellness Program—many at no cost.
- Sophisticated interventional radiology procedures, in particular, embolizations, have been used for years to treat spinal cord cancer at Northern Westchester Hospital.
- Multi-modality rehabilitation services, providing expert therapies to address the various challenges of tumors of the spine
- State-of-the-art medical technology and operating rooms for tumor surgery.
In addition, our Tumor Board assures that cancer patients at NWH will be discussed by a multi-specialty forum, which is the gold standard of cancer care.
Having a tumor of the spine can be very scary. Our team at the NWH Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center has the expertise, the compassion and the best treatments to help you and yours in this important journey.