Tumour is an abnormal mass of cells. Spinal tumour is an abnormal growth within the spinal canal or within the bones of the spine. A spinal cord tumour can be intradural, tumour that develops within the spinal cord or dura (spinal cord covering) or it can be vertebral tumour, tumour that develops within the vertebrae (bones of spine).
The exact cause of spinal tumour is unclear. Possible reasons are:
- Genetic component
- Exposure to harmful chemicals
- Weak immune system
- Back pain
- Pain worsens at night
- Pain increasing with physical activity
- Pain at the area of tumour
- Pain spreading to hips and limbs
- Difficulty in walking, which can cause falls
- Muscle weakness especially in your limbs
- Loss of sensation
- Stiffness of back and neck
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Scoliosis or curvature of spine
- Review of signs and symptoms
- Physical examination
- Neurological examination
- CT,Spinal MRI, Bone scan
The preventive measures for spine tumour remains unknown. Some possible measures to prevent the occurrence and to avoid spreading of primary tumours to the spine include:
- Healthy lifestyle
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid exposure to harmful chemicals
- Periodical monitoring or health checkups.
Treatment methods for spinal tumours can be surgical and non-surgical.
- Nonsurgical methods include observation, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, other drugs.
- Constant observation is required for monitoring factors like secondary tumours and worsening of the condition.
- Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy the cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy uses high radiation beams to eliminate remains of the tumours after a surgery or for tumours which cannot be operated.
- Other medications can be used to reduce inflammation and avoid serious side effects after surgery and/or radiation therapy.
- Surgery involves removal of the cancerous growth.
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