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Spinal Tumor

Spinal Tumor Causes

The specific cause of spinal tumor is currently not known. However, the condition has been linked to a number of genetic factors.

Spinal Tumor Definition

Spinal tumor pertains to a potentially malignant mass growing at or near the spinal cord. Spinal tumors may be either cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign).

Spinal Tumor Diagnosis

If spinal tumor is suspected, one or a combination of the following diagnostic tests may be done: spinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); computerized tomography (CT) scan; myelogram; and biopsy.

Spinal Tumor Symptoms and Signs

Back pain, particularly in the middle and lower back areas, is the most common sign of both spinal tumor, whether malignant or benign. The pain may spread beyond the spine to the feet, legs, hips, arms, and may progress even with treatment. Other symptoms of spinal tumor include: muscle weakness; loss of sensation especially in the legs; difficulty walking; decreased sensitivity to cold, heat, and pain; loss of bowel or bladder function; varying degrees of paralysis throughout the body; and scoliosis or other spinal deformities.

Spinal Tumor Treatment

Ideally, the spinal tumor must be removed completely. However, surgical removal of the tumor sometimes causes permanent damage to surrounding nerves. Even with recent advances in treatment, not all spinal tumors are removed completely and nerve damage almost invariably occurs with surgery. Other treatment options for spinal tumor include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and some medications to manage symptoms.

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