The affect of spinal cord tumors varies greatly among those afflicted with the disease. The following information is provided to increase your knowledge and understanding. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but hopefully is a start.
- 1.1 cases per 100,000 persons
- Approx. 15-20% of CNS tumors occur in the spine
- Intramedullary lesions comprise approx.. 2-4% of all CNS neoplasms, occurring in both the pediatric and adult population
- The tumors occur anywhere from the cervicomedullary junction to the filum terminale though most frequently found in the thoracic cord.
- Symptoms are not specific to spinal cord tumors and may be present in any myelopathic process
- Because of the slow-growing nature of the tumors, symptoms precede tumor discovery an average of 2 years.
- Pain often is the earliest symptom, characteristically occurring at night when the patient is supine
- Pain may be local or radiating
- Progressive weakness may occur in the arms or legs
- Patients may have impaired bowel or bladder function
- Impotence may occur
- Patients may have poor balance
- Symptoms of subarachnoid hemorrhage may be present