I have moderate lumbar spinal stenosis, diffuse disc dessication with a bulging disc at L3-L4, secondary to a bulging disc, bilateral degenerative facet joints adn ligamentous hypertrophy and grade 1 spondylolisthesis. There is also an incidental hemangioma in L1.
My concern that I had breast cancer one year ago. I am currently on tamoxifen because I am estrogen/progesterone positive. I was told by my spine doctor that we have to keep an eye on the hemangioma because it can become malignant. In your experience, what are the chances of a hemangioma becoming malignant? If not, is there anything that can be done to avoid any further problems?
I thank you in advance for any helpful information given.
Hi, actually I have no experience in this area whatsoever, but I was curious so I did a search and came up with a little info. Most of the truly "medical" articles state that malignant degeneration of a vertebral hemangioma is all but unheard of. This was stated repeatedly in different articles.
However, occasionally a hemangioma in a bone , which is usually a very slow-growing benign tumor (mass of blood vessels) , can grow more aggressively. When this happens it can weaken the vertebra and allow it to "collapse" - This essentially would be a compression fracture. Most commonly this occurs during a pregnancy. When a vertebra collapses it can cause compression of the cord or of nerve roots resulting in pain, or even weakness or paralysis. It wasn't clear that this happened very often.
There was "one" report from India, that was reported in several journals, of malignant transformation of a vertebral hemangioma which had been repeatedly irradiated (given radiation) and many surgical attempts to remove it. Well, duh! Anything can transform into a malignancy given enough radiation!
I cannot tell you all this with any firsthand knowledge. The references were solid. So it sounds to me like malignant degeneration is not really the worry, but you would want to watch it for possible weakening of the vertebra or if you began to have pain. Most of the sources I read did not recommend messing with a vertebral hemangioma unless there were already symptoms from it.
Here were my search terms in Google:
vertebral hemangioma malignant degeneration
I hope this helps. I can't tell you it is the "standard of care", but the articles were current. Good luck, quix
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