Spinal Cord Neoplasms Treatment & Management
- Author: J Stephen Huff, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP more...
Use of spinal immobilization precautions may be prudent when neurologic impairment is suggested.
Support airway, breathing, and circulation during transport.
Emergency Department Care
Spinal cord compression secondary to cancer is an emergency that requires rapid diagnosis and treatment to prevent permanent complications.
Even when a cure is not possible, timely diagnosis and treatment may improve the patient's quality of life.
Consider administering steroids to patients who are thought to have cord compression secondary to a neoplasm.
Chemotherapy has a limited role in treating spinal cord compression and should be administered at the discretion of the consultant.
Radiation treatment to areas of tumor compression should be pursued after appropriate imaging and consultation.
Cord compression from an epidural tumor is considered one of the few emergencies in radiation oncology.
Spinal cord tolerance to radiation depends on the fraction size and cumulative dose.
Neurosurgeons traditionally manage spinal cord compression and dysfunction; however, local practices may vary.
Oncology, neurology, and radiation oncology staff may be involved in some circumstances.
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