Tumor is abnormal mass of rapidly growing cells without any physiological function. That means it does not perform any function for the body but derives its nutrition from the body. It can occur anywhere in the body. The cause is unknown. Those tumors that are found in and around the spinal cord are known as spinal tumors. They may be primary tumors whose cells of origin is the spinal tissue, or they may be secondary tumors which have spread (metastasize) via blood stream from some other focus in the body. The spinal cord is covered by a layer of protective tissue called as meninges. The entire spinal cord is encased within the vertebral column.
Following are different types of Spinal tumors based on their cancerous or non-cancerous behavior.
Benign bone tumors are of following types:
- Giant Cell Tumor: Usually found in the sacrum
- Hemangioma: Usually found in the thoracic spine
- Osteoid Osteoma: Usually found to affect the lumbar spine’s posterior spinal column
- Osteoblastoma: Usually found to affect the spine’s posterior spinal column
Malignant bone tumors are classified as follows:
- Chordoma: Affects the sacrum and coccyx in the midline
- Osteosarcoma: affect the anterior vertebral body and it may also invade the Posterior spinal elements.
Malignant cartilage tumor:
- Chondrosarcoma; Found primarily in the thoracic, lumbar, and sacral spine
Malignant plasma cell tumors:
- Plasmacytoma is cancer of the white blood cells (plasma cells) which effects the thoracic spine and may also involve the spinal cord ot the nerve roots.
- Lymphomas are cancer of the body’s lymphatic system that may spread to the spine .Usually the anterior part (front) of the spinal column is affected
Ewing’s Sarcoma: It affects the Sacrum or the nerves.
Symptoms of Spinal Tumour
Tumor may cause generalized symptoms in the body (like persistent low energy levels, unexplainable weight loss, lump formation, enlargement of lymph nodes, malaise, irregularities of menstruation in females etc as well as symptoms pertaining to the affected organ in the body.
• When the tumor is removed (partially or completely) pain and neurologic problems may clear up.
• To restore and preserve neurological function and provide spinal stability.
• Spinal Tumor surgery is generally indicated in case there is a localized tumor which can be removed with minimum damage to nerve and spinal cord,
• There is persistent neurological deficit and pain which is unresponsive to non operative treatment
• Surgery may include resection (partial removal) or excision (complete removal) of tumor.
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