Being diagnosed with a spinal cord tumor (SCT) will no doubt raise many questions. These are some of the questions most frequently asked by patients seeking care at our Anchorage spinal cancer treatment center. Patient education is very important to us and we provide many resources to help you learn more about the topics affecting your health.
HOW ARE SPINAL CORD TUMORS TREATED?
Spinal cord tumors are treated with either surgery, radiosurgery or conventional radiotherapy, depending upon the type of cancer. Surgery often involves the total removal of the affected bone (laminectomy) in an effort to achieve a radical or gross total resection.
HOW SOON DO I NEED TO SEEK TREATMENT?
Most SCTs are slow-growing and benign so urgent treatment is usually unnecessary. However, if symptoms such as muscle weakness or pain are getting worse then treatment should be sought soon. Patients will need to find a neurosurgeon who performs surgery related to SCT treatment.
HOW DO I FIND A QUALIFIED NEUROSURGEON?
Our experienced Radiation Oncologists will be happy to help place a referral to a Neurosurgeon whom they work closely with and trust.
DOES SCT SURGERY COME WITH RISKS?
All surgery has some risk associated with it and this is perhaps especially true for surgery treating spinal cord tumors. However, risk is reduced by choosing neurosurgeons who have performed these procedures many times before.
WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT PAIN BEFORE AND AFTER SURGERY?
The pain that patients experience before surgery should be resolved following the procedure. However, there are some important pieces of information to keep in mind:
- Some patients develop new numbness or tingling symptoms following surgery
- These post-surgery symptoms may be worse than pre-surgery pain
- This burning sensation is most commonly experienced after surgery treating ependymomas
- Pain may subside over a period of several months
- Some patients may require medication for pain management
SPEAK WITH AN EXPERIENCED TREATMENT TEAM
Our team of doctors is here to help you discover treatment solutions for a range of cancer diagnoses. Schedule an appointment with the CyberKnife Anchorage cancer center today.