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Spinal Cancer and Tumors

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Our Comprehensive Approach

Each year, an estimated 18,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer in the spine – one of the most common places in the body for the spread of cancer.

These spinal cord tumors – abnormal growths of tissue found in or near the spinal cord – can put pressure on sensitive tissues, causing chronic pain and discomfort and impairment of normal daily functioning. If left untreated, spinal tumors may cause severe spinal deformities or paralysis.

At the UPMC Department of Neurosurgery, our goal is to provide patients with a full range of spinal tumor treatment options so that they can continue to live as normally and actively as possible.

Our spine tumor experts are dedicated to exploring all options with patients and their family members, providing the most advanced treatments that may help preserve or improve neurological function, provide pain relief and structural spinal stability, and ultimately, remove or stop the growth of spinal tumors.

Diagnosing Spinal Cancer and Tumors

Our spine oncology experts strive to diagnose spinal cord tumors before they cause severe or permanent damage. Depending on the location and type of tumor, various signs and symptoms can develop, especially as a tumor grows and presses on nerves, blood vessels, or bones within the spine.

Learn about how our experts diagnose spinal tumors »

Spinal Conditions Treated

Our experts have the experience and expertise to treat every type of spinal cord tumor and lesion.

Learn about the spinal conditions treated »

Spine Cancer and Tumor Treatment Options

At UPMC, our spine neurosurgeons use a comprehensive approach, collaborate with colleagues from other department, and state-of-the-art technology, to provide the most advanced treatment of tumors of the spine and spinal cord. This interdisciplinary approach leads to highly coordinated and expert quality patient care that ranks among the best in the nation.

Read about our spine cancer treatment options »


Spine Radiosurgery: An Alternative Approach
Dr. Peter Gerszten discusses the advantages to spine radiosurgery treatment for patients.