Spinal tumors are located in the spinal cordand are mostly metastasesfrom primary cancers elsewhere (commonly breast, prostateand lung cancer). Primary tumors may be benign (e.g. hemangioma) or malignant in nature.
Depending on their location, the spinal cord tumors can be:
- Extradural - outside the dura materlining
- Intradural - part of the dura
- Intramedullary - inside the spinal cord
The symptoms seen are due to spinal nerve compression and weakening of the vertebral structure. Incontinenceand decreased sensitivity in the saddle aera (buttocks) are generally considered warning signs of spinal cord compressionby the tumor. Back painin a patient with known malignancy may prompt a bone scanto confirm or exclude spinal metastasis.
MRIand bone scanningare used for diagnostic purposes. This assesses not only the location of the tumor(s) but also their relationship with the spinal cordand the risk of cord compression.
- Steroidsmay be administered if there is evidence of cord compression
- Surgeryis sometimes possible
- Malia's Cord Foundation: An Organization Seeking a Cure for primary Spinal Cord Tumors
Categories: Oncology| Neurology| Neurosurgery
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It uses material from the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinal+tumor Wikipedia article Spinal tumor.