Spinal Cancer Specialist

Lindsey Ross, MD -  - Neurosurgeon

Lindsey Ross, MD

Neurosurgeon & Fellowship Trained Spine Surgeon located in , CA

You can go for months or even years without knowing you have spinal cancer or a spinal cord tumor. If a spinal tumor is benign and doesn’t cause symptoms, you might not even need treatment. Skilled neurosurgeon Lindsey Ross, MD, can evaluate your tumor and plan your treatment strategically if the tumor is harmful or causes symptoms. To learn more about spinal cancer, spinal cord tumors, and the available treatments, call the offices of Lindsey Ross, MD, in the West Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles or Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Torrance, California. Alternatively, you can request an appointment using the online booking tool.

Spinal Cancer Q & A

What is a spinal cord tumor?

A spinal cord tumor is a growth that occurs on your spinal cord due to out-of-control cell growth. They can be either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous), originate from the spinal cord or spinal nerves or area surrounding them. Spinal tumors often come from another area in the body when someone has metastatic cancer. 

Tumors that begin on or near your spinal cord are called primary spinal tumors. Dr. Ross specializes in treating several types of primary spinal tumors, including:

Schwannomas

The nerves in your body have a protective layer called a sheath. When the sheath of a nerve outside your spinal cord develops a tumor, it’s called a schwannoma or neurofibroma. In most cases, schwannomas and neurofibromas are benign.

Meningiomas

Meningiomas are tumors that occur in the membrane surrounding your brain and spinal cord. They grow very slowly but can eventually cause complications with your brain, nerves, or blood vessels.

Ependymomas

Ependymomas affect the ependymal cells, which line the passageways containing your cerebrospinal fluid. You can get one at any age, but they commonly develop in small children.

Tumors that come to the spine from another part of the body are called secondary spinal tumors. Dr. Ross specializes in the treatment of spinal metastatic disease.

Spinal Metastasis

Tumors that come to the spine from other parts of your body such as the lung, breast, or prostate as a part of a metastatic spread can cause significant pain which is often worse at night. This is often treated with radiation but sometimes require spine surgery. Dr. Ross will provide the most up to date care for your spinal tumors.

What are the symptoms and complications of spinal cancer?

Spinal cancer and spinal cord tumors can cause a wide range of symptoms, depending on their type, location, and size. Usually, if a spinal tumor causes symptoms at all, it’s because it has grown to the point that it places pressure on nearby nerves and structures. 

Possible symptoms of spinal cancer, a spinal cord tumor, or a brain tumor include:

  • Back pain
  • Weakness in a specific region
  • Numbness in a specific region
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Loss of bowel control
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Seizures
  • Headaches

Tumors can also block the blood supply to certain regions, resulting in tissue death. Symptoms of a spinal cord tumor usually start very mild and get progressively worse the longer you go without treatment. 

How is spinal cancer treated?

If Dr. Ross suspects you have spinal cancer or a spinal cord tumor, she performs imaging tests like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and other tests to locate the tumor and plan an effective treatment. 

Small benign tumors with no symptoms might not need treatment right away. Dr. Ross monitors tumors like these regularly to check for changes and complications that require intervention.

If the tumor is compressing your spinal cord, Dr. Ross may give you a dose of corticosteroids to relieve swelling before performing surgery or other treatments. She can remove many spinal cord tumors using cutting edge surgical techniques and often recommends radiation therapy after your surgery to make sure all the cancer is gone. 

If your spinal cancer isn’t removable with surgery, Dr. Ross might recommend radiation therapy or chemotherapy to kill the cancerous cells.

Book your consultation for spinal cancer treatment by calling the offices of Lindsey Ross, MD, or booking online today.