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Medical Tourism Guide

Spine Surgery Guide

What is Spinal Tumors

Cells within the Central Nervous System (CNS) normally grow in an orderly and controlled way, but if for some reason this order is disrupted, the cells continue to divide and form a lump or tumour.

A tumour may be either benign or malignant. Although a benign tumour can continue to grow, the cells do not spread from the original site. In a malignant tumour, the cells can invade and destroy surrounding tissue and may spread to other parts of the CNS.

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Tumours affecting the CNS are fairly rare. About 4500 people are diagnosed with CNS tumours each year in the UK. Many of these are malignant.

Intramedullary tumours are located within the nerves of the spinal cord. There are several different types of cancer of the spinal cord, but the most common are astrocytomas and ependymomas.

Intradural extramedullary tumours start inside the coverings of the spinal cord, but outside the cord itself. Meningiomas and nerve-sheath tumours, such as schwannomas, are the most common types of intradural extramedullary spinal tumour.

Extradural spinal tumours

Some tumours start in the bones of the spine (primary bone tumours ). There are several different types of primary bone tumours. Benign tumours include chordomas and osteomas. Malignant tumours include osteosarcomas , chondrosarcomas and fibrosarcomas.

Some cancers can spread into the bones of the spine from elsewhere in the body. They are known as secondary bone cancers . The most common primary cancers to spread to the bones of the spine include lung , breast , myeloma , lymphoma and prostate cancer.
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This information is not designed to replace a physician's independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient.
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