Oncological diseases of the spine and its basic structures can hardly be considered a rarity in medical practice. That's why many people are interested in information about how the symptoms of spinal cancer look. After all, it's not a secret for anyone: the sooner the treatment of a tumor begins, the better the chances of recovery.
The main forms of the disease
As is known, tumors can be both primary and secondary (in this case, the neoplasm is only a metastasis, while the main focus of the disease is located in another organ). Before considering the main symptoms of cancer of the spine, it is worth familiarizing yourself with its basic forms:
- The extradural tumor is located outside the spinal cord.
- Intradural tumors are located under the dura mater and lead to compression of the spinal cord.
- The intramedullary tumor grows inside the spinal cord, which leads to swelling of the spine.
It is worth noting that the malignant process can occur in different tissues: bone, nervous, cartilaginous. In any case, an increase in the size of the neoplasm leads to the squeezing of certain structures - the vertebrae and intervertebral discs, nerve roots and vessels are damaged, which explains the main symptoms of spinal cancer. In any case, in the absence of timely medical care, extremely serious complications arise, often leading to death.
Spinal cancer: symptoms
Most often, this disease develops slowly, year after year. Its main signs appear when the tumor begins to push heavily on nearby structures. And one of the first symptoms is chronic weakness and increased fatigue. There may also be difficulties in walking.
Quite often, cancerous lesions of the spine affect the muscle tone - there is weakness, uncontrolled muscle spasms, pain in the legs and back, which can not be quenched with conventional analgesics.
In the future, patients complain of numbness of the lower extremities, tingling and burning of the skin. If the tumor touches the nerve roots, then the normal work of the organs that they innervate is disrupted. For example, enuresis and fecal incontinence are also symptoms of spinal cancer.
If untreated, partial or complete paralysis develops, depending on the location and size of the affected area.
Cancer of the spine: treatment
With such a disease, only complex therapy is applied, which includes several methods at once. If the tumor has grown so much that it interferes with the normal functioning of the body, it must be surgically removed. Unfortunately, such operations involve a risk, since the probability of damage to healthy nerve roots is high. However, modern equipment reduces the risk of postoperative injuries. In addition, even after surgery, additionally prescribed course of radiation or chemotherapy, since otherwise clear the spine of all malignant cells is simply impossible.