A spinal tumor is a growth in bone or in or near the spinal cord. These growths can be either cancerous or noncancerous. Symptoms vary but back pain is a frequent one. Doctors use several approaches to get an accurate diagnosis. Both MRIs and CT scans are valuable medical tools, and biopsies are another option. Given the variety of spinal tumors and places they may grow, treatments range widely. Under the best circumstances, however, a tumor is easily reached and nowhere near a nerve. If this is the case, surgeons simply remove it. Radiation therapy may be used on inaccessible tumors or those close to nerves. Chemotherapy also may be appropriate.