Signs of a Back Tumor

Signs of a Back Tumor
Signs of a Back Tumor (Image: eosh/

Back tumors usually occur around the spine. Although most of the time the tumor is benign (noncancerous), in rare cases it may be cancerous. Tumors can interfere and cause pain in a person's everyday functions such as walking, sitting or sleeping. If the tumors spread, it can cause permanent neurological damage to the spine or back.

Pain in Neck or Back

The most obvious sign of a back tumor is pain in the neck or back. This is usually followed up by neurological issues such as numbness in the legs or arms, weakness in the body and changes in normal bladder behavior.

Abnormal Sensations

Feeling abnormal sensations or loss of sensation in the body is common for people who have a back tumor. This abnormal sensation may occur particularly in the knees, ankles or legs. Those affected may experience shooting pain down the leg that gets worse over time.

Constitutional Symptoms

Signs of a back tumor can also include symptoms that are associated with something being wrong with the body in general. For example, people with back tumors may experience weight loss, vomiting, fever, loss of appetite and chills.

Muscle Spasms

Back tumors may also cause muscle contractions or spasms. The muscles may feel week or you may lose muscle function all together. This can make everyday activities such as walking and sitting harder or impossible.


Treatment needs to be administered quickly as symptoms develop. The treatment options for a back tumor include corticosteroids, which will be given to reduce the swelling, surgery to remove the tumor from the back or radiation therapy, which will attempt to kill the tumor.

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