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.
What is surgery?
Surgery is used to diagnose, stage and treat cancer, and certain cancer-related symptoms. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), our experienced surgeons have performed thousands of procedures and will discuss appropriate surgical options that meet your individual needs.
Whether a patient is a candidate for surgery 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 medical comorbidities. For many patients, surgery will be combined with other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormone therapy. These may be administered before surgery (neoadjuvant) or after surgery (adjuvant) to help prevent cancer growth, spread or recurrence.
Early in the treatment planning process, we plan for and proactively manage any side effects from surgery. Our nutritionists, rehabilitation therapists and naturopathic clinicians are available to work with your surgical oncologist to support your healing and quality of life. Our reconstructive surgeons perform procedures to restore the body's appearance and function, often at the time of surgery or following surgery.