How is Cancer of the Spine Detected?

Spine tumors are usually detected because a patient will have symptoms, such as back pain, difficulty walking, sexual dysfunction and limb weakness. Patients often experience pain that either is in the spine itself or radiates from the nerves in the spine. Because none of these symptoms are unique to spine tumors, the diagnosis must be confirmed through a combination of a physical examination and imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans. Once a spine tumor has been diagnosed, more tests may be needed to identify the specific type of tumor and determine the proper treatment for the patient.