What are Spinal Cord Tumors?

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The spine is a long and flexible structure running through the back from the skull’s base to the tailbone, consisting of vertebras and intervertebral discs. It encloses a long band of tissues called the spinal cord. The spinal cord is made up of nerve fibers that conduct the sensations from the brain to the body and from the body to the brain. It controls all the sensations and movements of the body. Damage or injury to the spinal cord may cause a complete/partial loss of sensory or motor functions.

The abnormal growth of the tissues within or next to the spinal cord/ vertebral column is called a spinal cord tumor. The cells keep multiplying at an abnormal and uncontrollable rate. This abnormal growth may compress the spinal cord resulting in the damage of the nerve fibers running through the spinal cord conducting sensations to and from the spinal cord. Depending on the type and intensity of the damage may be temporary or permanent. Permanent damage to the spinal cord may be avoided by prompt evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.

Here is a brief summary of the spinal cord tumors explained by the best spine surgeon Dr. Kalyan Bommakanti.

A spinal cord tumor is also called an intradural tumor as it occurs within the spinal cord or the dura (covering of the spinal cord). Spinal tumors may be primary (benign) or metastatic (secondary). Benign tumors are non-cancerous while malignant tumors are cancerous. Usually, the spinal tumors are a result of cancer metastasis – the type of cancer that has spread from any other part of the body to the spine. However benign tumors are those which originate within the spinal cord. Benign tumors are non-cancerous while malignant is cancerous. Due to the advancement in technology, the chances of these tumors being cured have increased with time.

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