Dr.Öğr.Üyesi Gökhan GÖKÇE – Beyin, Sinir ve Omurga Cerrahisi Uzmanı

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Spinal cord tumours can be divided into two main categories: tumours that originate in the spinal cord itself or tumours that develop from the spinal cord membrane and nerves. Here is important information about these types of tumours:

Two Main Types of Spinal Cord Tumours:

1. Tumours Originating from the Spinal Cord: This type of tumours develop inside the spinal cord.They originate from the tissue of the spinal cord.These tumours can be both benign (benign) and malignant (malignant). Spinal cord tumours can affect the spinal cord and cause paralysis, loss of sensation, urinary control problems and other neurological problems.

2. Tumours that develop from the spinal cord membrane or nerves:Such tumours can originate from the membranes (meninges) that surround the spinal cord or from the nerve roots connected to the spinal cord. For example, meningioma and schwannoma tumours fall into this category.These tumours can be both benign and malignant and can cause similar neurological symptoms by compressing the spinal cord.

Symptoms of Spinal Cord Tumours:
Spinal cord tumours may cause different symptoms depending on their type and location.However, the following symptoms can be seen in general:- Back, Neck or Lumbar Pain:Spinal cord tumours can often cause regional pain.

– Neurological Symptoms: In case of compression of the spinal cord, neurological symptoms such as loss of strength, loss of sensation or numbness in the arms and legs may develop.

– Urinary and Defecation Problems: Spinal cord tumours can affect urinary and defecation control, which can lead to problems such as incontinence or constipation.

– Balance Problems:Spinal cord tumours can cause balance problems and patients may have difficulty walking.Diagnostic Methods:
The following methods can be used for the diagnosis of spinal cord tumours:

– Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI):MRI shows the spinal cord and the size, location and effect of the tumour in detail.- Biopsy:A biopsy can sometimes be performed to determine the type of tumour. During this procedure, tissue samples are taken from the tumour and pathological examination is performed.

– Electrophysiological Tests: Electrophysiological tests such as electromyography (EMG) and sensory evoked potentials (SEP) can be used to evaluate nerve function.

Treatment Options:
Treatment of spinal cord tumours is determined depending on the type and size of the tumour and the patient’s general health. Treatment options may include:

– Surgical Treatment:Most benign tumours can be surgically removed. In malignant tumours, surgery aims to remove as much of the tumour as possible.

– Radiotherapy: Radiotherapy can help shrink or control the tumour. Radiotherapy can be used especially for malignant tumours or if surgery is not possible.

– Chemotherapy: For some tumours, chemotherapy may be a treatment option. Chemotherapy is used to control the growth of cancer cells.

Spinal cord tumours are a complex and serious health problem. The treatment approach is individualised according to the patient’s medical condition and the characteristics of the tumour. Surgeries are usually performed under a microscope and special techniques such as neuromonitoring are used. Patients should be followed up regularly after treatment, because malignant tumours have a risk of recurrence.

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