Benign or malignant lesions that occur in bone, nerve or soft tissues that form the spine and spinal cord are called spinal tumors. The source of the tumor may be the cells that make up the spine and spinal system or metastatic tumors. Tumors can be located in any area of the spine, such as the neck, back, waist, and coccyx. Symptoms also differ depending on the region in which they are located. For example; if the tumor is in the neck area, a loss of strength and numbness can be seen in both the arms and legs. In the back and lumbar region of the tumor, only symptoms such as weakness in the legs, numbness and inability to walk can be seen. Apart from these; symptoms such as back pain, fever, loss of weight and weakness, loss of bowel and bladder control, loss of sexual function, and reflex distortion may indicate the spinal tumor.
What are the Types of Tumors?
1- Intradural-extramedullary tumors
- a) Meningiomas: Most of the spinal meningiomas are benign. They originate from spinal cord membranes, such as meningiomas in the brain. They are most common at 50-60 years of age. It is more common in women. The most common complaint is pain. Diagnosis and treatment are also very easy and result in positively. The purpose of surgical treatment is to completely remove the tumor from its origin. Radiation therapy is also added to the treatment, since it has a very rare risk of malignant meningioma type recurrence.
- b) Schwannoma / Neurofibroma: Nerve sheath tumors are rare. It is seen in the 30-50 age range. Distribution by gender does not differ much. It is also very easy to diagnose these slowly growing tumors. After correctly determining which nerve originates from it, it is the purpose of the surgical operation to remove the entire tumor along with its root.
2- Intradural- intramedullary tumors
- a) Epandimomas: They are the most common intramedullary tumors of adults and the second most common spinal tumor in children. It is common in 30-40 years old. Although this tumor type is also very easy to diagnose, patients usually come to treatment in advanced stages. Patients’ failure to correctly identify their complaints and the fact that a good spinal cord examination was not performed with appropriate examination delay diagnosis.
b) Metastatic Spinal Tumors: The most common place where cancers metastasize is the spine. Primary cancers such as lung, breast, prostate, kidney, thyroid, gastroentestinal region and lymphoma are spread to the spine. It is most common between the ages of 40-60. As a symptom, the most common complaint is pain, but this time the pain is felt during rest. This is the distinctive feature of other spinal tumors.