A spinal tumor is a cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign) growth that develops within or near your spinal cord or within the bones of your spine. Surgery to remove the bone around the cord can ease pressure on the spinal nerves and nerve pathways, which will usually ease pain and other symptoms; however, it may make walking more difficult. A spinal tumor or a growth of any kind can affect nerves in the area of the tumor, leading to pain, neurological problems and sometimes paralysis. Treatment also may include pain relievers and cortisone drugs to lessen swelling around the tumor, and ease pressure on the spinal cord. Spinal cord tumors are masses of abnormal cells that grow in the spinal cord, between its protective sheaths, or on the surface of the sheath that covers the spinal cord. Whether cancerous or not, a spinal tumor can threaten life and cause permanent disability. Both noncancerous and cancerous spinal tumors can compress spinal nerves, leading to a loss of movement or sensation below the level of the tumor and sometimes to changes in bowel and bladder function. Early diagnosis and treatment can produce a higher success rate. Long-term survival also depends on the tumor's type, location, and size. Physical therapy and rehabilitation may helps the tumor is malignant and has metastasized, treatment depends on the type of the primary cancer. Surgery is usually the first step in treating benign and malignant tumors outside the spinal cord. Tumors inside the spinal cord may not be able to be completely removed with surgery. If they cannot be, radiation and chemotherapy treatments may be effective.