Spinal Cord Tumor : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment

 What Is Spinal Cord Tumor?

A spinal tumor is an extraordinary growth (mass) of cells inside or surrounding your spinal cord and/or spinal column.

Your spine (backbone) is the long, bendy column of bones that protects your spinal twine. It starts off evolving at the base of your cranium and ends in your tailbone, which is part of your pelvis.

What Is Spinal Cord Tumor?
Spinal Cord Tumor

Your spinal wire is a cylindrical structure that runs through the center of your backbone, out of your brainstem (the lowest of your mind) to your low return. It incorporates nerve bundles and cells that carry messages from your brain to the relaxation of your frame, and from your body to your brain.

  1. Nervous system

The nervous system is the part of an animal's or human's body that coordinates its actions and transmits signals to and from different parts of its body. The nervous system detects environmental changes that impact the organism, then it works in tandem with the endocrine system to respond to these changes. Nervous tissue first originated in wormlike animals about 550 to 600 million years ago. In vertebrates it consists of two main parts, the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS).

  1. Brain

  2. Cerebral hemispheres

  3. Diencephalon or interbrain

  4. Thalamus

  5. Hypothalamus

  6. Midbrain

  7. Cerebellum

  8. Pons

  9. Medulla oblongata

  10. The spinal cord

  11. The ventricular system

  12. Choroid plexus

  1. Peripheral nervous system

The nervous system is an important part of the human body. It controls and coordinates all the activities of the body. The nervous system is divided into the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The CNS includes the brain and the spinal cord.

  1. Nerves

  2. Cranial nerves

  3. Spinal nerves

  4. Ganglia

  5. Enteric nervous system

Medical terms

A spinal tumor is a mass that develops within your spinal canal or within the bones of your spine. A spinal cord tumor is a tumor that begins within the spinal cord or the covering of the spinal cord (dura). A tumor that affects the bones of your spine A tumor (vertebrae) is called a vertebral tumor.

Spinal cord tumors may be classified according to where they occur relative to the protective membranes of the spinal cord. These types are called tumor types A, B, or C.

Intradural tumors can be classified into three main categories: brain tumors, spinal cord tumors, and brain stem tumors.

Spinal tumors can be located:

  • Inside of your spinal cord (intramedullary).

  • In the tissues (meninges) covering your spinal cord (intradural-extramedullary).

  • Between the meninges and bones of your spine (extradural).

  • In the bony vertebrae of your spine.

  • Intramedullary tumorsCancer starts in the cells within the spinal cord. This can include tumors such as gliomas, astrocytomas, or ependymomas.

  • Extramedullary tumors  Tumors can grow in either the membrane surrounding the spinal cord or the nerve roots that extend from the spinal cord. These tumors may affect spinal cord function by causing spinal cord compression and other problems. Meningiomas, neurofibromas, schwannomas, and nerve sheath tumors can all affect the spinal cord.

Tumors can spread to other parts of the body and cause, in rare cases, cancerous growths in the spinal cord or even in the spinal cord itself.

Spinal tumors can cause pain and other neurological problems, as well as paralysis. A spinal tumor can be very dangerous and may lead to permanent disability.

If a spinal tumor is treated, it may include surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.

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Types Spinal cord tumor

  • Astrocytoma

  • Chordoma

  • Ependymoma

  • Glioma

  • Meningioma

  • Neurofibroma

  • Schwannoma

Symptoms Spinal cord tumor

Non-mechanical again ache, in particular in the center or decrease again, is the most frequent symptom of each benign and malignant spinal tumor. This again ache isn't always specially attributed to damage, strain or bodily activity. However, the ache can also boom with interest and can be worse at night when lying down. Pain may additionally spread beyond the returns to the hips, legs, toes or fingers and might worsen over the years — even if treated via conservative, nonsurgical strategies which could regularly help alleviate pain attributed to mechanical reasons. Depending on the area and type of tumor, other signs and symptoms can expand, mainly as a tumor grows and compresses at the spinal wire, the nerve roots, blood vessels or bones of the spine.

Tumors in the spinal cord can cause different signs and symptoms, especially as the tumors grow. The tumors may affect your spinal cord, blood vessels, or bones near your spine. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • The tumor is causing pain.

  • Back pain often feels like it's radiating to other parts of your body.

  • Having less pain, heat, and cold sensitivity.

  • Loss of bowel or bladder function

  • Sometimes people have difficulty walking and this can lead to falls.

  • Back pain that's worse at night

  • If you lose sensation or muscle strength in your arms or legs, that is probably because of a nerve or muscle problem.

  • Muscle weakness may be mild or severe in different parts of your body.

Back pain is a common early symptom of tumors on your spine. The pain may also spread to other parts of your body, and it may worsen over time even with treatment.

Tumors can progress at different rates depending on the type of tumor.

When to see a doctor

If you have back pain, there are many possible causes. But if you have back pain that is not caused by a tumor, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

  • It's persistent and progressive

  • It's not activity related

  • It gets worse at night

  • You have a history of cancer and now you have new back pain.

  • Some other symptoms you may have from cancer include nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.

If you experience any health problems, go to the doctor right away.

  • If you experience progressive muscle weakness or numbness in your legs or arms, it might be a sign of a medical condition.

  • Changes in bowel or bladder function

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Causes Spinal cord tumor

The motive of most primary spinal tumors is unknown. Some of them can be attributed to publicity to most cancers-causing marketers. Spinal wire lymphomas, that are cancers that have an effect on lymphocytes (a sort of immune cell), are extra common in human beings with compromised immune structures. There appears to be a higher incidence of spinal tumors especially families, so there is maximum likely a genetic element.

In a small quantity of instances, primary tumors may additionally end result from presence of these  genetic diseases:

Neurofibromatosis 2: In this hereditary (genetic) ailment, benign tumors may also broaden in the arachnoid layer of the spinal cord or within the assisting glial cells. However, the more common tumors associated with this ailment affect the nerves associated with listening to and may necessarily lead to lack of listening to in a single or both ears.

Von Hippel-Lindau sickness: This uncommon, multi-gadget sickness is related to benign blood vessel tumors (hemangioblastomas) within the brain, retina and spinal cord, and with other styles of tumors inside the kidneys or adrenal glands.

It's not clear why most spinal tumors develop. Scientists aren't sure what causes them, but they think it might be due to defective genes. But it's usually not known whether such genetic problems are inherited or develop over time as a result of something in the environment, like exposure to certain chemicals. In some cases, spinal cord tumors are linked to known inherited syndromes such as neurofibromatosis 2 and von Hippel-Lindau disease.

Risk factors Spinal cord tumor

Spinal cord tumors are more common in people who have a history of:

  • Neurofibromatosis 2.Neurofibromatosis is a disorder in which benign tumors develop on or near the nerves that relate to hearing. As a result, one or both ears may gradually lose their hearing. People with neurofibromatosis 2 may also develop spinal canal tumors.

  • Von Hippel-Lindau disease.This rare disorder is associated with blood vessel tumors (hemangioblastomas) in the brain, retina, and spinal cord. Other types of tumors can also be found in the kidneys or adrenal glands.

Complications Spinal Cord Tumor

Spinal tumors can compress nerves, which can lead to a loss of movement or sensation below the tumor. Sometimes this can cause changes in bowel and bladder function. Nerve damage may be permanent.

If caught early, a tumor that presses against the spinal cord may be treatable. However, if the tumor is located in a dangerous location, the person may die.

Diagnosis Spinal cord tumor

As primary spinal tumors often have no signs and symptoms (asymptomatic), healthcare carriers regularly discover them incidentally (by accident) when a person is getting an imaging take a look at for some other reason.

People with symptomatic spinal tumors regularly accept as true that their back pain is associated with a real or suspected harm within the recent beyond. If you’re experiencing returned pain, it’s essential to see your healthcare company, particularly if you have cancer.

If you have a spinal tumor, it's important that your doctor knows all of your medical history, including any previous illnesses or injuries. He or she will also perform a physical exam and possibly an MRI scan to determine the extent of the tumor.

If your doctor suspects you may have a spinal tumor, these tests can help confirm the diagnosis and help identify the tumor's location.

  • MRI scans use magnetic fields to view the inside of the body. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to produce clear images of your spine, spinal cord, and nerves. MRI is usually the preferred test to diagnose tumors near the spine or in surrounding tissues. A contrast agent may be injected to make certain tissues and structures more visible. In order to take the blood test, put a drop of your blood into a vein in your hand or forearm.
    Some people may feel claustrophobic or disturbed by the loud noise of an MRI scanner. But you're usually given earplugs to help block out the noise and some scanners have televisions or headphones that you can use to ease your anxiety. If you're very anxious, please ask about a mild sedative to help. Anesthesia may be necessary to calm you.
  • Computerized tomography (CT).This test uses a narrow beam of radiation to produce detailed images of your spinal column. Sometimes it's combined with an injected contrast dye to help diagnose abnormalities in the spinal canal or spinal cord. A CT scan is rarely used to help diagnose tumors in the spine.

  • Biopsy.To determine the exact type of a spinal tumor, a small tissue sample (biopsy) must be examined under a microscope. The biopsy results will help decide treatment options.

Treatment Spinal cord tumor

How are spinal tumors treated?

Tumors of the spinal cord are treated with surgery Surgery for spinal cord tumors is based on the size and location of the tumor In most cases a bone scan or a CT scan will be done to determine whether surgery would be an option Options include: • Removal of part of the spinal canal (cord) in which the tumor lies • Removing or destroying the tumor itself • If a tumor has spread from another area in the body then radiation therapy or chemotherapy may also be prescribed.

Are spinal tumors treatable?

Tumors that grow in the spine are called spinal tumors or neurofibromas These tumors are usually benign but can result in pain and loss of mobility if they grow large enough to compress the spinal cord The most common type of spinal tumor is a meningioma This kind of tumor grows from cells in the covering of the brain and is the most common type of brain tumor as well.

Can tumors go away?

There is no cure for cancer A cancer tumor grows because the cells that make up the tumor begin to reproduce out of control creating malignant (cancer) cells Treatment focuses on stopping the growth and spread of cancer cells and killing the cancer cells.

  • Treatment for a spinal twine tumor is different for all of us. It relies upon the form of tumor, where it's miles, how speedy it is growing, the issues it is inflicting, and your universal fitness. The purpose of treatment may be to treat you, control the most cancers, or help ease issues due to the tumor. Talk along with your healthcare team about your remedy choices, the desires of remedy, and what the dangers and aspect effects can be. Other things to consider are if the most cancers can be removed with surgical operation, how your frame will look and paintings after remedy, and your basic health.

Treating a spinal tumor is important, but it is also important to be aware of the risks associated with the treatment. Doctors will try to eliminate the tumor completely, but this may require damage to the spinal cord and nerves. Additionally, your age and overall health will affect the decision about how aggressively to treat the tumor. If the cause of your back pain is not found on a standard physical exam, then other factors must be considered in developing a treatment plan.

There are many treatment options for most spinal tumors, including:

  • Monitoring.If you have a spinal tumor, it may not cause any symptoms right away. Often, small tumors will not grow or press on surrounding tissues if you watch them carefully.
    Your doctor will likely recommend periodic CT or MRI scans to monitor the tumor.

  • Surgery.This is often the treatment of choice for tumors that can be removed without causing major nerve damage.
    Neurosurgeons are able to reach tumors that were once difficult to treat with surgery. With the use of more powerful microscopes, they can identify tumors from healthy tissue more easily.Doctors can monitor the function of spinal cords and other important nerves during surgery to minimize the chance of injuring them. Sometimes very high-frequency sound waves might be used during surgery to break up tumors and remove fragments.Some tumors can't be removed completely with surgery. If this is the case, the tumor may be treated with radiation therapy or chemotherapy.Surgical recovery from spinal surgery may take weeks or longer, depending on the procedure. You may experience temporary loss of sensation or other complications, including bleeding and damage to nerve tissue.

Neurosurgery consultation for pediatric patients.

  • Radiation therapy.This can be used to remove the remnants of tumors after surgery. It is usually used to treat tumors that cannot be removed by surgery, or tumors where surgery is risky.
    Some of the side effects of radiation such as nausea and vomiting may be eased with medications.Radiation therapy may be adjusted to minimize the damage done to healthy tissue and make the treatment more effective. This could involve changing the dosage of radiation, using sophisticated techniques such as three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy. Olive oil has many benefits for the body, including being a form of therapy.

  • Chemotherapy.Chemotherapy is used to destroy cancer cells or stop them from growing. Your doctor can decide if chemotherapy is an appropriate treatment for you, either on its own or in combination with radiation therapy.
    Some side effects may include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, an increased risk of infection, and hair loss.

  • Other drugs.After surgery or radiation therapy, doctors may prescribe corticosteroids to reduce swelling and inflammation.
    Corticosteroids reduce inflammation, but they are usually used for a short period of time to avoid serious side effects such as muscle weakness, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, and an increased susceptibility to infection.

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Alternative medicine

Some complementary or alternative treatments may help relieve some of the symptoms of cancer. However, there are no alternative medicines that have been proven to cure cancer.

Acupuncture is one type of treatment that is often helpful in relieving nausea and vomiting, as well as certain types of pain in people with cancer.

Talk with your doctor before trying any complementary or alternative treatments. These treatments can have side effects if you're taking medicines.

Coping and support

When you find out you have a spinal tumor, it can be difficult. But there are things you can do to cope after your diagnosis. Consider trying to: 1. Make sense of the information and learn as much as you can. 2. Talk to friends and family about what happened. 3. Take care of yourself physically and emotionally.

  • Find out as much information about your specific spinal tumor as you can.Make a list of your questions and bring them to your appointments. As your doctor responds, take notes or ask a friend or family member to come along to record the conversation.
    When you understand your care and how to take it properly, you'll feel more confident when making treatment decisions.

  • Get support.Find someone who you can trust to listen to you and understand your feelings. You may be able to share your concerns with a close friend or family member. Or go see a clergy member or counselor.
    Others with spinal tumors may be able to offer helpful insights. Talk to your doctor about support groups in your area. Online discussion boards such as those offered by the Spinal Cord Tumor Association are also options.

  • Take care of yourself.Eat a healthy diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Talk to your doctor to see when you can start exercising again. Get enough sleep so that you feel rested.
    Stress can be reduced by taking time for leisure activities such as listening to music or writing in a journal.

Preparing for your appointment

If you have symptoms that are commonly associated with spinal tumors, such as persistent unexplained back pain, weakness, or numbness in your legs or changes in bowel or bladder function, call your doctor right away.

If you have been examined by a doctor, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer, brain and spinal cord conditions, or disorders of the bones.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for your appointment and what to expect from the doctor.

What you can do

  • Make a list of any symptoms you're experiencing. and for how long.

  • List your key medical information,Please include all of the conditions you have, as well as the names of any prescription and over-the-counter medications you're taking.

  • Be aware of any family history of brain or spinal tumors.A first-degree relative is someone who is related to you by blood. For example, a parent or sibling would be a first-degree relative.

  • Take a family member or friend along.If you forget something during your appointment, someone accompanying you can help you remember what was discussed.

  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Some questions you might want to ask your doctor at your initial appointment include:

  • What may be causing my symptoms?

  • Are there any other possible causes?

  • What kinds of tests do I need? What are the necessary preparations for these tests?

  • What should I do next in order to determine my diagnosis and receive treatment?

  • Should I see a specialist?

Some questions to ask an oncologist or neurologist include:

  • Do I have a spinal tumor?

  • What type of tumor do I have?

  • How will the tumor grow over time?

  • What might be the consequences?

  • What are the goals of my treatment?

  • What are the risks of surgery? Will I be a good candidate for surgery?

  • Are you going to have radiation therapy? What are the risks?

  • Is there a role for chemotherapy?

  • What should I do to treat this problem?

  • If the first treatment doesn't work, what other options do we have?

  • What are my chances for a long-term recovery?

  • Do I need a second opinion?

Don't hesitate to ask any additional questions about your doctor's appointment, even if you've prepared some in advance.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor may ask you a number of questions before deciding if you have a spinal tumor. Preparing ahead of time can help make the appointment more enjoyable for both of you. If your doctor suspects that you may have a spinal tumor, they may ask:

  • What are your symptoms?

  • What are the symptoms you are describing?

  • Do you believe that your symptoms have gotten worse over time?

  • Where does the pain seem to originate from?

  • Does the pain stay localized to just one part of your body?

  • Did you do anything new that might have caused pain, such as participating in an exercise or playing in the garden for a long time?

  • Have you been experiencing any weakness or numbness in your legs?

  • Have you had any difficulty walking?

  • Do you have any problems with your bladder or bowel function?

  • Can you tell me if you have any other medical conditions?

  • Do you have any medications that you are currently taking over the counter or prescribed by a doctor?

  • Are you at risk for developing a spinal tumor?

General summary

  1. A spinal twine tumor is a strange tissue boom within or subsequent to the spinal twine. Even benign spinal cord tumors can cause critical neurological troubles on your infant due to the fact they could put strain on the spinal cord as they develop.
  2. Prompt analysis and remedy can prevent spinal twine damage from becoming everlasting. Recent improvements in remedies options, surgical gadgets and surgical techniques have made it easier to treat this type of tumor.
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