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Surgery for spinal cancer

surgical oncology

What is surgery?

Surgery is used to diagnose, stage and treat cancer, and to manage certain cancer-related symptoms. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), our experienced surgeons have performed thousands of procedures and will discuss the surgical options that are best suited to your individual needs.

Whether a patient is a candidate for surgery or not depends on factors such as the type, size, location, grade and stage of the tumor, as well as general health factors such as age, physical fitness and other coexisting medical conditions the patient may have.

For many patients, surgery will be combined with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormone therapy. These nonsurgical treatments may be administered before surgery (neoadjuvant therapy) or after surgery (adjuvant therapy) to help prevent cancer growth, spread or recurrence.

Early in the treatment planning process, we plan for and proactively manage anticipated side effects from surgery. Our nutritionists, rehabilitation therapists and naturopathic clinicians work together with your surgical oncologist to support healing and quality of life. Our reconstructive surgeons perform procedures to restore the body's appearance and function when needed, at the time of surgery or following surgery.

Surgical oncology

Video: Surgical Oncology

Surgical Oncology

Surgery for spinal cancer

Spinal cancer treatment at CTCA sometimes involves surgery. We apply similar surgical strategies for brain tumors to spinal column tumors.

The goal of spinal cancer surgery depends on several factors, including the location and grade of the tumor, and the symptoms present. When the tumor is limited only to one portion of the spinal column, we may perform surgery to completely remove the cancer. For metastatic spinal tumors, we may perform the minimum surgery necessary to relieve symptoms.

For example, we commonly use surgical strategies to treat spinal column compression and instability, and relieve pain. Spinal cancer surgery can also help to remove tissue pressing against the spinal cord and nerves or to relieve the buildup of cerebrospinal fluid.

Minimally invasive surgical techniques for spinal cancer

In the past, surgeries to address spinal tumors were relatively large. With advances in technology, we can perform many of these surgeries in a minimally invasive fashion. Minimally invasive spinal surgeries allow you to get back on your feet and return to normal activities more quickly, with less pain. This also allows you to maintain your nutrition and get back to treatment faster.

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