Spinal center improves quality of life

Andrew J. Fabiano, MD, FAANS

Roswell Park’s Spinal Oncology Center offers advanced treatment options and expert multidisciplinary care for both malignant and nonmalignant conditions of the spine.

These conditions include:

  • Tumors, either malignant (cancer) or benign (not cancer). If the tumors are malignant, they may be primary (starting out in the spine) or metastatic (spreading to the spine from other parts of the body). Metastatic spinal tumors are usually associated with lung or breast cancer, but can also arise from prostate, gastrointestinal, kidney cancers, lymphoma or melanoma.
  • Fractures (cracks) in the vertebrae, which can be caused by osteoporosis (brittle bones) or as a side effect of radiation therapy or the use of steroids.

When disease affects the spinal column, you may experience pain, numbness, muscle weakness, difficulty walking, or bowel or bladder incontinence.

If medical imaging shows that you have disease in your spine, it’s important to see a neurosurgeon who is trained in treating spinal disease. The types of treatments you receive — and the order in which they’re given — will determine how well the disease is controlled and pain is managed, your level of mobility, and your overall quality of life. In some cases, removing tumors that were pressing on the spinal cord can even restore neurological functions that were lost.

Neurosurgeons work together with other surgical oncologists as well as specialists in pathology, pain management, medical imaging, medical oncology, and radiation oncology to review your case from every angle and develop a treatment plan based on your unique needs.

Roswell Park’s Spinal Oncology Center is equipped to provide the most advanced treatments including:

  • The O-Arm® imaging system increases safety and accuracy by enabling the neurosurgeon to see real-time images of the spine during surgery.
  • Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) delivers high doses of radiation with minimal side effects.
  • For patients with spinal fractures, a minimally invasive outpatient procedure called balloon kyphoplasty is used to relieve pain.

These treatment techniques improve survival, reduce pain, reserve and restore neurologic function and prevent or correct spinal deformity.

If you’ve been diagnosed with spinal disease, or you would like more information about the Spinal Oncology Center, please call 1-800-ROSWELL or 1-877-275-7724