Spinal cord tumours

Meningioma

This is a tumour that has grown from one of the tissues that line the brain and spinal cord (called meninges). The particular layer of the meninges is said to be the Arachnoid Layer (called this because it is spider web like in appearance). It is one of the common tumours around the spinal cord. It is unclear what causes the meningioma to occur.

This is not a malignant tumour. They grow locally and although they can grow in difficult to access places they are benign.

Hemangioma

A spinal hemangioma is a primary, benign tumour most common in the thoracic and lumbar spine. This type of tumour typically affects the vertebral body, but also can affect muscles. The tumour has few symptoms, and is often found on examination for another condition. It is most common in patients aged 30-50.

Hemangioma patients are closely watched for signs of compression fractures, neurologic dysfunction or the development of a soft tissue mass as a result of the hemangioma.

Treatment depends on the size and location of the hemangioma. A combination of embolization (ie. closing the blood flow), excision (surgical removal of the tumour) and radiation therapy is typical.

Spinal cord tumour factsheet and questions guide available on request.
Please email enquiries@meningiomauk.org.

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