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Spinal tumors are neoplasms located in the spinal cord. They are mostly metastases from primary cancers elsewhere (commonly breast, prostate and lung cancer). Primary tumors may be benign (e.g. hemangioma) or malignant in nature.
Depending on their location, the spinal cord tumors can be:
The symptoms seen are due to spinal nerve compression and weakening of the vertebral structure. Incontinence and decreased sensitivity in the saddle area (buttocks) are generally considered warning signs of spinal cord compression by the tumor. Back pain in a patient with known malignancy may prompt a bone scan to confirm or exclude spinal metastasis.
MRI and bone scanning are used for diagnostic purposes. This assesses not only the location of the tumor(s) but also their relationship with the spinal cord and the risk of cord compression.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Spinal_tumor". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|