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Tumor - spinal cord
A spinal tumor is a growth of cells (mass) in or surrounding the spinal cord.
Any type of tumor may occur in the spine, including:
A small number of spinal tumors occur in the nerves of the spinal cord itself. Most often these are ependymomas and other gliomas.
Tumors that start in spinal tissue are called primary spinal tumors. Tumors that spread to the spine from some other place (metatastasis) are called secondary spinal tumors. Tumors may spread to the spine from the breast, prostate, lung, and other areas.
The cause of primary spinal tumors is unknown. Some primary spinal tumors occur with genetic defects.
Spinal tumors can occur:
Or, tumors may extend from other locations. Most spinal tumors are extradural.
As it grows, the tumor can affect the:
The tumor may press on the spinal cord or nerve roots, causing damage. With time, the damage may become permanent.
DeAngelis LM. Tumors of the central nervous system and intracranial hypertension and hypotension. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 199.
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