Tumor Cervical Spine

What is Tumor Cervical Spine?

A neoplasm of the spine is a primary tumor or metastatic tumors. Metastatic is term used to describe the spread of a cancer from some other location in the body. Primary tumors of the spine can be benign or malignant (cancer), and can be further subdivided into intradural and extradural neoplasms. Intradural is a tumor that arises from or within the dural sac (sac containing the spinal cord and nerves). Other than that, extradural tumors are often neoplasms infiltrating the bony structure of the vertebrae, but can also arise within the epidural space. The most common primary tumors of the cervical spine are osteochondromas,osteoid osteomas, giant cell tumors, hemangiomas, and osteoblastomas, and tend to be benign. Osteochondromas is a benign lesion with cartilaginous cap which make up 4 % os=f all solitary spine tumor. They occur in patient aged 20-30 years. Common malignant primary tumors of the cervical spine include plasmacytoma, osteosarcoma, chordoma, chondrosarcoma, and lymphoma.

What is Symptom of Cervical Spine Tumor?

Depending on the location and type of tumor, other signs and symptom can develop, especially as a malignant tumor grows and compresses on the spinal cord, the nerve roots, blood vessels or bones of the spine. Impingement of the tumor on the spinal cord can be life-threatening in itself. There are several symptom of cervical spine tumor:

  • Difficulty walking, which may cause falls.
  • Decreased sensitivity to pain, heat and cold
  • Loss of bowel or bladder function.
  • Loss of sensation or muscle weakness, in the legs, arm or chest.
  • Paralysis that may occur in varying degrees and in different parts of the body, depending on which nerves are compressed.
  • Scoliosis or other spinal deformity resulting from a large but benign tumor.


How the Cervical Spine Tumor diagnosed?

A variety of tests exist to help diagnose cervical spinal tumor, including a physical exam, blood tests and imaging. A physical examination will include a through patient history and a review of patient physical and neurological symptoms. There are several way to diagnosed this disease:

    • X-Ray

X-ray may be used to identify and evaluate the fracture when a spinal fracture is suspected. However, x-ray only can view image of bones and not soft tissue such as new tumor growth, additional imaging using tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is often part of the process.

    • Computer Tomography (CT scan)

CT is often replacing X-ray for first-line imaging, as it clearly differentiates bone from soft tissue (such as tumor). A CT scan uses special X-ray equipment and computer software to enhance images.

    • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI scan)

MRI is the one of the way to diagnosed spinal tumor especially cervix. It is more sensitive imaging modality for visualizing spine tumors. Other than that, it provides accurate information about the soft tissues and bony structures of the spine using magnetic fields and pulses of radio wave energy to create images. Because of the magnetic energy, if patient have certain types of metal implants or other device, they cannot have an MRI and are prescribed a CT scan instead.


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July 23, 2014Permalink Leave a comment

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