The Spine is that one part of the human body that adds significant value to an individual’s physical personality. But in a case of any unfavourable health conditions that one could have, where the spine is likely to be affected, there’s pain and gradual degeneration of the spine. That’s what we are here to talk about in this article.
Providing the best possible spine treatments and care for the spine is what we aim at, and it takes a sturdiness and experience to give the best possible results. Here at Vinn Hospital, we have spine Health Experts to guide you through a detailed understanding about spinal cord tumours, its types, and what could be causing them. However, let’s begin with what it is.
What is a spinal cord tumour?
A spinal cord tumour is an abnormal mass of tissue that develops within your spinal canal or the bones of your spine. These cells grow faster than normal cells and increases in size and damages your spine.
Types of Tumours
Spinal cord tumours are of various categories based on their nature and area which they grow, such as vertebral column tumours, intradural-extramedullary tumours, intramedullary, and extradural tumours.
Vertebral Column Tumours
Vertebral column tumours are of two types, primary, and secondary tumours or Metastatic tumours.
Primary tumours develop in the vertebral column. They occur in the bone or disc elements in the spine. Osteosarcoma(OS) is one of the common malignant bone tumours. These primary tumours are rare and grow slowly.
Secondary tumours occur due to cancers which spread from another site of the body to spine. These tumours result in the massive pain, may be worse at night time. These tumours cause serious illness such as weight loss, fever, vomitings, etc.
These are common types of tumours that develop in the spinal cord’s arachnoid membrane (the membrane that covers the spinal cord), these type of cysts are called as Meningiomas.
Nerve sheath tumours occur in the nerve roots that extend out from the spinal cord or at the base of the spinal cord. These tumours are also called schwannomas and neurofibromas. These nerve root tumours are usually benign which grow slowly and sometimes may result in malignant over time.
Meningiomas: A spinal meningioma begins in meninges(thin membranes that cover the spinal cord) and usually appears in the upper portion of the back. These type of tumours are common in middle-aged and older women. Even though meningiomas are benign, they are difficult to remove.
Neurofibroma: A neurofibroma arises on or under the skin that protects the spinal cord and nerves. A neurofibroma can develop and tends to form within the nerve anywhere in the body. A neurofibroma is usually benign, and rarely it turns to malignant.
Schwannoma: A Schwannoma develops in Schwann cells. The cells produce a material which insulates nerves and mostly grows on the outside of the spinal cord. It’s a common type of benign peripheral nerve tumour in adults and can occur at any age and anywhere in your body.
These tumours grow inside the spinal cord or individual nerves, most frequently occur in the cervical spine (neck region). It arises from the glial or ependymal cells which provide physical support and insulation for the nervous system. They often tend to benign but difficult to remove.
The most common type of intramedullary tumours include:
Ependymoma: Ependymoma is the most common type of a tumour which occurs in the brain or spinal cord. It begins in the ependymal cells of the spinal cord which grow in line with the passageways through which the cerebrospinal fluid flows. Ependymoma can occur irrespective of age. However, most often seen in young children.
Astrocytoma: An Astrocytoma a tumour arises from astrocytes which are star-shaped cells in the brain and spinal cord. Astrocytes cells help the nerve cells to function correctly. It is the most common type of spinal cord tumour in children.
Hemangioblastoma: A hemangioblastoma is a tumour that contains several blood vessels and can arise in any part of the spinal cord.
Glioma: This type of tumours occur in the brain and spinal cord. Gliomas grow in the glial cells (the cells of the central nervous system) that surround nerve cells and help them function.
Extradural tumours grow outside of the dura mater(the spinal cord lives within), they often begin. An extradural spine tumour occurs due to cancer of the breast, thyroid, lung, prostate, or other diseases that spread all over the body and finally reaches the spine.
Some other tumours which include chordoma, Myxopapillary Ependymoma is also spinal cord tumours. Spinal cord tumours damage your spinal cord or the nerve roots, blood vessels or bones of your spine. These nerve damage may be permanent.
Treatment at a glance
Treatment like chemotherapy, radiation therapy or through Surgery can remove the spinal cord tumours. Depending on the location, these spinal cord tumours can be life-threatening. However, an early diagnosis of malignant spinal cord tumours treatment can help the condition to the extent of its elimination.
About the Hospital:
Vinn Hospital has been providing comprehensive treatments and cares for its patients, with the best in class doctors, specialists and support staff. Our teams and units are dedicated in their cause to ensure optimum health for all our patients. Vinn Hospital has the best, state-of-the-art facilities, which treat an array of diseases and disorders all under one roof.
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