A spinal tumor is a tumor of the spine that might occur anywhere in or near the spine and be of any size. A skilled and reputed neurosurgeon can surgically eliminate the tumor but there are many things to consider before going for the procedure. Let’s understand spinal tumors better.
Types of Spinal Tumor-
Spinal tumors are categorized according to their anatomic location with respect to the spinal cord.
A vertebral tumor is one that occurs inside the bones or vertebrae of the spine.
An intradural tumor is one that occurs inside the lining of the spinal cord.
An intramedullary tumor is one that originates right inside the spinal cord.
Symptoms of a spinal tumor are difficult to bear with. Some common symptoms of spinal tumors are:
Pain at the exact location of the tumor spreading to other parts of the body.
Pain in various regions of the body, especially in the lower back, neck, head, and sciatic area.
Neurological problems of various types.
Loss of sensation of temperature or pain or touch.
Bladder control issues.
Difficulty maintaining balance.
If the tumor is not eliminated somehow, it can metastasize and eventually become fatal.
Causes and Risk Factors-
The cause of the abnormal cell growth is not known but having tumors and cancer is prevalent in the family line. Hereditary diseases like neurofibromatosis 2 and von Hippel-Lindau disease in a close blood relative puts people in the high-risk factor category.
People who have had tumors earlier are more susceptible to getting tumors again in the same area or spinal tumors too.
Genetic defects, associated or not associated with the hereditary connection, is another risk factor.
Diagnosis involves gathering information about the entire family medical history and the patient’s own medical history and assessment of symptoms. Conclusive tests include:
Treatment options are determined after the diagnosis of the tumor depending on the size, type, and stage of the tumor.
Treatment depends on the cause, location, size, and type of the tumor. It also depends on the patient’s overall medical health. A spinal tumor has to be eliminated completely hence neurosurgery is the commonest solution.
The age, health, and tolerance of the patient are taken into consideration before going for any kind of surgery or therapy. Risk factors like damage to healthy nerve cells and the chances of complications are considered because the spine is the most sensitive part of the body besides the brain itself.