Spinal Cord Tumor

August 4, 2015 -

Brain and spinal cord tumor is the growth of abnormal cells in the nerve tissue running from the base of the skull down the back. Spinal tumors can either be benign or malignant. This tumor can start in different areas of the brain or spinal cord. When the tumor presses on an area of the brain, it can cause that part to stop functioning the way it should. Both benign and malignant brain tumors can cause symptoms and require treatment.

Brain and spinal cord tumors are the third most common types of childhood cancer, behind leukemia and lymphoma. However, brain tumors can also occur in adults. The treatment for children and adults are different.

The cause of most brain and spinal cord tumors are still unknown in early childhood. There are symptoms to look out for. The symptoms of brain tumor include morning headache, which sometimes goes away after vomiting, frequent nausea and vomiting, vision problems, hearing problems, speech problems, loss of balance, difficulty in walking, change in activity level, behavioral changes, seizures, and an increase in infant’s head size. The symptoms of spinal cord tumor are back pain, pain that spreads from the back towards the arms or legs, a change in bowel habits, trouble urinating, weakness in the legs, and trouble walking. The symptoms usually vary for each person.

Tests that are used to detect these tumors are physical exam, neurological exam, MRI, and serum tumor marker test. Most childhood brain tumors are removed in surgery.

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