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Spinal tumor: causes, symptoms, treatment, prognosis

Currently, spinal cord tumor is uncommon. However, its occurrence is associated with risk of late detection because of the lack of pronounced symptoms in the early stages of development. For lost time the tumor are able to affect neighboring tissues and organs. Between the first appearance of the affected cells and visible signs can take even years, causing the disease progresses and becomes intractable. It is therefore important to have information about the causes, types, symptoms of tumors and the treatment methods for their early diagnosis and appropriate action.

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A tumor can be benign and malignant. If you have a slow or zero rate of development we can talk about its benign form. This patient has a high chances of complete elimination of the disease. The rapid expansion of the modified cells transferred to their offspring new properties characterizes malignant neoplasms. Tumors are usually classified by types, based on different signs: stages of development, the place of formation, structure etc. So there are several classifications.

Tumor formation are divided into primary and secondary. If the primary formed directly from the cells of the brain, the secondary, which occurs much less frequently from other tissues and cells of the human body.

Cancer of the spinal cord can be formed directly from the substance of the brain or from cells, roots, shells, or vessels, which are located close to the brain. Accordingly, the tumors are divided into intramedullary and extramedullary. Last differenziata:

  • Subdural under a hard cerebral shell;
  • Epidural generated over the dural sheath (occur most frequently);
  • Subapically propagating in both sides of the shell.

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Most often extramedullary tumors are of malignant nature, being a rapidly growing and destroying the spine.

Intramedullary spinal tumor can be formed from the medullary substance, which is only 5 % of cases. But the most common are gliomas – tumors of the glial cells that perform the function of maintaining the health of neurons.

Cancer of the spinal cord may be formed in different spinal units or capture from 2 segments. So, craniospinal formations are formed, passing from the cranium to the cervical, brain tumor cone extends to the sacrococcygeal area, a tumor of the cauda equina captures 3 lumbar, 5 sacral vertebrae and coccygeal Department.

Causes and symptoms of tumors

Modern health care system does not specify the precise reasons inducing the formation of tumors. However, it identifies some risk factors:

  • The impact of radiation on the human body;
  • Poisoning the body with harmful substances of chemical origin;
  • Smoking;
  • Age (the likelihood of tumor formation increases with age, but can develop at any period of life);
  • Genetic predisposition, etc.

Symptoms that occur in cancer of the spinal cord, similar to the symptoms common to many other diseases. In the first stages of growth of tumors symptoms may not manifest. Such properties cause the risk of late detection of tumors and worsening consequences.

The tumor manifests itself in the formation of new tissue in the area of the presence of nerve cells, roots, shells, or vessels, to which it contributes to the pressure. This causes pain and other symptoms of spinal cord tumor.

The first and most important symptom of the tumor, the pain felt in the back. She has sharp, strong, a frequent manifestation and is not removed normal drugs. Pain is worse with increasing tumor size. Symptoms of neoplastic processes is divided into 3 complexes: radicular-shell, segmental and conductive disorders.

Radicular-shell disorder

These symptoms of cancer of the spinal cord take place due to the pressure of the tumor on nerve roots and shell in the spinal area. Radicular symptoms are manifested in the case of spine lesions, and depending on force of compression and the degree of violation can be observed the phases of irritation or loss of spine.

For the phase of irritation of the spine characterized by pressure on it with moderate force with intact blood supply. Pain there and in the area of irritation, and surrounding areas. When driving, you touch the place of formation of tumors arise discomfort: pain, burning, tingling, numbness. These symptoms increase in the horizontal and decrease vertical.

When the phase loss sensitivity of the roots decreases and eventually is lost, they are overly constrained, therefore, do not perform their functions.

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To shell symptoms include severe pain, increased intracranial pressure, tension in the occurrence of tumours.

Suggest to read: tumors of the spine.

Segmental disorders

Segmental disorders occur when the pressure on some spinal cord segments. This interferes with the performance of the internal organs and muscles, a change in skin sensitivity. Cancer of the spinal cord affects the constituent of such segments front, rear or lateral horns. In the first case would be a reduction or loss of reflexes, involuntary muscle contractions, twitching, reduced their strength and tone. In the presence of tumor of the spinal cord such violations are local and occur only in those muscles that are likely to be affected.

Pressure on the lateral horns of the individual segments of the spinal cord leads to violation supply of the tissues the necessary elements. Increased skin temperature, sweating, can change its color, in some cases, the skin dries and flakes. Such changes appear only in the affected areas.

Conductive disorders

This group consists of violations of motor activity below or above the zone of neoplasm, as well as violations of sensitivity. Intramedullary spinal tumor is characterized by numbness down the growth of tumors (first the zone, then lower located region), extramedullary – from the bottom up (starting with feet, moving in the pelvic, then the thoracic region, hands, etc.).

Conductive paths that serve to transmit information to the muscles are compressed by tumor formation, the result may be paralysis, paresis.

All symptoms of the presence of spinal tumors occur in complex, disrupted the performance of multiple systems.

Diagnosis and treatment

In the early stages of development of the tumor diagnosis is difficult due to the weak manifestation. Therefore, to establish the exact location, size, stage of development, it is necessary to pass a comprehensive examination, using several methods of diagnosis. Examination of the neurologist is replaced by MRI and CT, including intravenous contrast enhancement. These studies established the exact location of tumors, is necessary for the further treatment process. These methods are commonly used and highly informative.

An important method is and radionuclide study. For this injected into the body the special tool containing a radioactive substance emitting the radiation. In the cells of the tumor and in healthy tissues such components are accumulated in different ways, which makes it possible to accurately locate the affected area. In some cases a puncture of the spinal cord and examined taken sample.

Complete elimination of disease is possible only through surgical intervention. However, this applies only to benign, having clear boundaries, which allows to remove the tumor in full.

Malignancy is not fully clipped due to their large size and the introduction into the spinal cord. Removes the affected tissue, minimally affecting directly the spinal area and the vertebral column.

In the formation of multiple tumors with a large number of metastases in the spine, its surgical removal is impractical. After surgery patients are recommended for treatment drugs that can restore blood flow in the spinal cord. Moderate exercise, therapeutic massage, prevention of pressure sores – the necessary procedures for rehabilitation of the patient.

Every person at any age need toa healthy lifestyle and to always be attentive to your body. In case of any deviations from the normal state they need to consult a doctor for advice. Only personal control and care will help to diagnose any disease, including to find a tumor of the spinal cord, and eliminate the ailment with no adverse effects.