Spine Tumor - Causes, Diagnoses and Treatment
The development of abnormal cells in and around the spinal cord and spinal nerves is called Spinal Tumor. A Spinal Cord Tumor is the tumor that begins within the spinal cord or covering of the spinal cord (dura) is called the intradural tumor. Tumor affecting the spine bone is called the vertebral tumor. Some tumor can be cancerous (malignant) and some can be non-cancerous (benign). If these are left untreated, the permanent spinal damage can happen. A cancerous tumor may spread to the other parts of the body. Spinal Tumor affects the functioning of vertebrae, nerve roots, blood vessels, meninges and spinal cord.
Various Types of Spinal Tumors:-
- Intramedullary Tumors: These tumors are built inside the nerves or spinal cord. It occurs from the cells which offer insulation & physical support for the nervous system. These tumors are of cancerous in nature and usually occur in the cervical spinal cord.
It is of three types:-
Types of Extramedullary Tumors are:-
- Nerve sheath tumors
- Vertebral Column Tumors
Symptoms of Spinal Tumors:-
The spinal tumor may affect the spinal cord, blood vessels, nerve roots and bones of the spine. One may experience the following symptoms which are:-
- Back pain radiating to the other body parts and getting worsen day by day
- Growing Pain with the growth of tumor
- Loss of Bowel or bladder function
- Difficulty in walking or chances of falls
- Loss of sensation especially in arms & legs
- Muscle weakness which may be mild and severe
- Feeling less sensitive to pain, heat, and cold.
- Abnormal sensation especially in legs, knee, ankle which may worsen
- Coughing, straining, sneezing make the pain worsen
Causes of Spinal Tumor:-
Exact reason or cause is not clear for developing the spinal tumors. Development of the spinal tumor may depend on the genetic factor be it inherited or simply develop over the time. Apart from that, it may be due to environmental factors such as exposure to certain chemicals. Unregulated cell growth is responsible for causing cancerous or non-cancerous tumors.
Any type of spinal tumor, be it Leukemia, Lymphoma or Myeloma, can occur in the nerves of the spinal cord. Tumors starting in the spinal tissue are called primary spinal tumors whereas which spread to the spine from the other body parts are called, secondary spinal tumors.
Risk Factors & Complications of Spinal Tumor:-
People having the following disease are more likely to suffer from the Spinal Tumor:-
- Neurofibromatosis 2.:In this hereditary disorder, benign tumors affect the nerves related to hearing which may lead to hearing of loss in one or both ears. Some people may have the complaints of spinal canal tumors.
- Von Hippel-Lindau disease:This is associated with the blood vessel tumor in the brain, retina, spinal cord, kidneys and adrenal glands.
Spinal tumors may compress spinal nerves due to which sensation and lack of movement can be felt in the location of the tumor. If left untreated, it may affect the bowel and bladders function damaging the nerve permanently. Treating the problem on time, will surely prevent further loss of function or regain nerve function, otherwise, it may be life-threatening.
Diagnosis of Spinal Tumors
It is difficult to determine and analyze the spinal tumor. Some serious tests under the guidance of professional are required. These diagnostic tests are mentioned under:-
- Plain Spinal X-rays
- Lumbar Puncture
- MRA- angiogram
- Electrical Conduction tests (used at the time of surgery)
- MRI with and without contrast dye
Treatment of Spinal Tumors by Specialist
The goal would be the removal of the tumor without occurring risk or damage. The doctor will never take risk of permanent damage to the spinal cord or nerves. The neurosurgeon will first evaluate and decide the treatment after analyzing the severity of the problem and the patient immune system. The Common Treatments are:-
- Monitoring: Keeping a regular eye on the tumor through CT scan and MRI .
- Surgery: This is done to remove the tumor. No doubt, the tumor can be removed but there is a chances of spinal cord or nerve injury damage. The goal is to save the life of the human at the cost of little risk. With the invention of new technique and high powered microscopes help the neurosurgeon to identify the healthy tissues and inflamed tissue. Image catching instruments help to locate the right tumor place.
Spinal cord function can be monitored which minimise the chance of damage or injury. Neurosurgeon may pass the high-frequency sound waves (CUSA) to break the tumor and to remove the fragments. In many cases, surgery will not help to remove the complete tumor for which radiation therapy and chemotherapy can be done. Surgery may lead to temporary loss of sensation, bleeding and damage to nerve tissue. After the surgery, it may take weeks or longer to recover. Surgery is beneficial to treat the spinal tumors which are located outside the spinal cord.
- Radiation Therapy: When the surgery is risky or removal of all the tumor is not possible then radiation therapy is performed to kill the remnant of the tumor. Methods of radiation and dosage will vary upon the severity of a tumor. Radiation therapy may have some side-effects such as nausea and vomiting which can be eased with the help of medicines prescribed by your doctor or Neurosurgeon.
- Chemotherapy: This is the combination of drugs taken in the form of injection and pills. The motive is to destroy the cancer cells or to stop them from growing. It has some controllable side-effects such as hair loss, nausea, fatigue, infection etc. Sometimes chemotherapy alone is not beneficial so it can be given along with the radiation therapy.
There are some other treatments are also available to cure the spinal cord tumor such as:-
- Spinal Decompression Surgery
- Spinal Stenosis Surgery
- Radiosurgery or Cyberknife
- Medicinal Treatment or Drugs
Spinal Tumor can't be neglected as it may lead to the life-threatening condition. People experiencing the symptoms mentioned above should consult the neurosurgeon in Gurgaon. He will analyze the problem in depth and will provide the treatment accordingly. Book your consultation for you or your closed ones to get the Best treatment of Spinal Tumor in Gurgaon.