Cancer can occur in any part of the body, with the spine not being spared either. Spine cancers can be found in the vertebral bones or in the delicate spinal cord itself. They can be primary or secondary in nature, with primary cancers originating in the spine itself while secondary cancers refers to cancers that have metastasized to the spine from somewhere else. These can be from the nearby lungs or breasts or from areas like the colon, kidneys or prostate. Whatever the source, cancers of the spine can result in severe disabilities or even death.
The spinal column is a tube of nerve tissue that originates at the base of the brain and extends down the backbone. It forms part of the central nervous system and is protected by three membrane layers. When the cells here start growing and dividing in an abnormal way, a lump or mass is formed. It can be malignant (cancerous) or non-malignant (benign) in nature. A malignant tumor grows aggressively and can invade the surrounding tissues or spread to other parts of the central nervous system.
Diagnosis is done by CT or MRI scanning. In some cases, they are diagnosed accidently during some other routine examination. Other times, they are specifically checked for when symptoms of instability, unexplained pain, numbness or weakness of the appendages, clumsiness or bowel and bladder problems occur.
The symptoms of spine and spinal cord cancers depend upon their size, type and location in the spine as well as the nerves being affected. The symptoms can build up gradually or swiftly within a matter of a few days. These cancers can cause fractures or collapse of the spine, resulting in damage to the spinal cord. They can also lead to instability in the spine or even death from growths that restrict the spinal cord.
Pain is the single most dominant symptom of spine cancers and the symptoms produced depend upon its location on the spine or spinal cord. Pain occurs due to pressure on sensitive nerve endings, resulting in tingling or numbness in some body part and in some cases, may eventually lead to paralysis.
Some of the commonly-felt symptoms include back and/or neck pain, arm and/or leg pain, loss of sensation, muscle weakness and difficulty in walking. It could also produce symptoms such as pain or difficulty in standing, loss of bowel or bladder function, spinal deformities and paralysis.
If you have noticed similar symptoms, a visit to the Sita Bhateja Specialty hospital in Bangalore might come in handy. They have a highly-experienced team of consultants and surgeons specialized in the field and can help you diagnose and treat such conditions. You can get more information here: http://www.sbshospital.com/