Spinal Tumor Symptoms

The most common symptom of a spine tumor is back pain that does not improve with rest. Most back pain, of course, is not caused by a spinal tumor, so an accurate diagnosis is critical. ( Read more about back pain here.)

Other common symptoms of a spine tumor include:

  • Sciatica (pain that runs along the sciatic nerve, which radiates from the lower back, down the buttocks and back of the leg)
  • Numbness in the legs, arms, or chest
  • Difficulty walking
  • Scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, as a result of spine-deforming tumor growth


It is important to seek treatment as soon as possible if your pain persists and if you have a history of cancer — the spine is a common place for another cancer to spread.

Seek treatment immediately if you have:

  • Impaired bladder or bowel function
  • Paralysis


Spine tumors are serious and complex lesions, and they should be evaluated by experienced spine surgeons and spinal oncologists at a major medical center. At Weill Cornell, our Spinal Tumor Program provides expert multidisciplinary care for patients with both primary and metastatic spine tumors, as well as access to clinical trials.

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