What is Spinal Cancer – Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

There are three layers surrounding the brain and the spinal cord. The outer layer is called Dura.

Spinal cancer

tumors develop in and around this particular layer. If the linings of this layer are affected, then it is known as extradural tumor. Intradural tumor indicates part of this layer developing cancer. If the inner structure of the spinal cord develops neoplasm, then it is known as intramedullary site of tumor development.


What are the Symptoms of Spinal Cancer?

Compression of the nerves of the region and weakening of the vertebral structure are responsible for the following signs to appear:

  • Back pain
  • Pain worsening at night times
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of sensation of the legs
  • Less sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Increased risks of falls
  • Loss of bowel functions
  • Paralysis in different parts of the body and to various extents
  • Deformity of the spinal cord
  • Scoliosis
  • Middle or lower back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Pain in the limbs persistently

If the tumor is non-cancerous, it might take even years for the signs to be apparent. If it is malignant, then the signs appear quickly. The exact cause of spinal tumor development is not known to the scientists. Genetic involvement has been found in many cases however.


Scanning of the bone and carrying out magnetic resonance imaging study of the suspected location can reveal many of the signs of this ailment. Important facts like site, size and stage of the tumor are revealed by this technique. Complications like compression of the cord can also be assessed by this method.

Treatment of Tumor in Spinal Cord:

There are certain steroids available which can be given at the site of the tumor. They reduce the swelling in the location and bring down the complications associated with compression of the cord. Surgery and radiotherapy are the other two treatment modalities of

spinal cancer


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