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Spine Disorders

  • By: ISA Content Team
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Spinal Cord Tumor

TERMINOLOGY (SYNONYMS)
  • Tumor
  • Spinal cord mass
  • Spinal cord lesion


INTRODUCTION

Brain and spinal cord tumors are found in the tissue inside the skull or the bony spinal column, which makes up the central nervous system (CNS). A tumor is a mass of cells that forms from an abnormal cell growth or is present at birth (congenital).  Tumors occur when genes that regulate cell growth become damaged or mutated, allowing cells to grow and divide out of control.  Tumors can form anywhere in the body.

Depending on the type, a growing tumor can kill healthy cells or disrupt their function.   It can displace or compress sensitive tissue and block the flow of blood and other fluid, causing pain and inflammation.  A tumor can also block the normal flow of electricity in the brain or nerve signaling to and from the brain.  Some tumors are benign and rarely cause any problem.

There are more than 120 types of brain and spinal cord tumors.  Some are named by the type of cell in which they start (such as glioma) or location (such as meningioma, which form in the lining of the brain and spinal cord). Spinal tumors are classified according to their location in the spine. There are usually classified as vertebral tumors (within the bone), intramedullary tumors (within the spinal cord) or intradural-intramedullary (with the lining around the spinal cord) tumors. Most of the tumors that affect the vertebral body arise from other areas of the body such as the prostate, the breast, the lung or the kidneys.


DEMOGRAPHICS (STATISTICS)



The demographics vary with the type of tumor. Spinal cord tumors are less common than brain tumors.  Although they affect people of all ages, spinal cord tumors are most common in young and middle-aged adults.  According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), nearly 3,200 central nervous system tumors are diagnosed each year in children under age 20.



Educational Partners

To learn more about your spine. spinehealth, and available spinecare go to the International Spine Assocition (ISA) at www.spineinformation.org. The primary mission of the ISA is to improve spinehealth and spinecare through education. The ISA is committed to disseminating need-to-know information throught the World Wide Web in numerous languages covering many topics related to the spine, including information about spine disorders, spine heath, advances in technology and available spinecare



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All health information posted on the site is based on the latest research and national treatment standards, and have been written or reviewed and appoved by the American Acedemy of Spine Physicians and/or International Spine Association physicians or health professionals unless otherwise specified.



The information provided on this site is designed to support. not replace,
the relationship that exists between patient/site visitor and his/her physician.