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Pediatric Spinal Cord Tumor: Symptoms, Causes & Risks

Spinal Cord Tumors form when the healthy, normal cells inside and around the spine begin to grow and behave abnormally. These cells proceed to generate tissue growths in the vertebrae of the spine or near the spinal cord. Pediatric Spinal Tumors are less prevalent than pediatric brain tumors and often develop in children aged 10 to 16. Prompt diagnosis and Treatment of Pediatric Spine Tumors in India can prevent nerve damage to the spinal cord from becoming permanent.

Learning more about brain and spinal cord tumors in kids and adolescents might help make an alarming diagnosis a little less frightening. These tumors, however, differ greatly from person to person. If your child has a brain or spinal cord tumor, please discuss any questions or concerns with the Best Pediatric Neurologist in India. They are the most qualified individuals to assess your child’s specific condition.

What Are Tumors

Tumors are accumulations of cells that are abnormal. Only certain types of tumors are cancerous. Brain and spinal cord tumors are “solid” tumors, as compared to blood cancers like leukemia. They also behave very differently in children than in adults, which makes pediatric specialists extremely important. Most brain tumors have no known etiology, and there is no method to prevent them.

Brain and spinal cord tumors are not very common, occurring in less than six out of every 100,000 children and teenagers in the United States. At the same time, they are the most prevalent solid tumor in children and, after leukemia, the second most common malignancy in children.

Each year, around 4,500 children in the United States are diagnosed with a brain or spinal cord tumor. Most tumors are cured, though rates vary greatly depending on tumor type and a variety of other reasons. 

What Is a Child Spinal Cord Tumor

A spinal cord tumor is the abnormal cell growth in the nerve tissue that runs from the base of the head down the back. Tumors of the spinal cord can be benign or malignant.

Although child cancer is relatively rare, brain and spinal cord tumors are the third most common type of pediatric cancer after leukemia and lymphoma.

Types of Pediatric Spinal Cord Tumor

Spinal cord tumors are categorized according to where they form within the spine:

  • Intramedullary tumors: These spinal tumors develop from the cells of the spinal cord itself. Many are gliomas, which are cancers that develop from the cells that nourish and sustain the spinal cord.
  • Intradural tumors: It develops inside the spinal cord’s covering, the dura, but outside the spinal cord itself. These tumors are usually harmless.
  • Extradural tumors: It occur outside the membranes that enclose the spinal cord and can be:
  • Primary bone tumors: It specifically arise from spinal tissue
  • Metastatic tumors: They have spread from another section of the body.

Symptoms of Child Tumors

Childhood tumors may appear with a wide range of symptoms.

The location of the tumor, the age of the kid, and the rate at which the tumor grows are all factors that may influence symptoms. Symptoms may sometimes begin unexpectedly or worsen progressively over time.

Because the brain is involved in so many complicated functions, a brain tumor can have a wide range of consequences. The following symptoms may appear in very young children:

  • Appetite loss
  • Constant irritation
  • Stuttering during development

Pediatric Spinal Cord Tumor SymptomsTeachers and parents with school-age children may notice:

  • Memory issues
  • Decreased learning capacity
  • Problems with behavior or emotional challenges

A tumor can raise pressure on certain parts of the brain, resulting in headaches, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, fatigue, or seizures.Most childhood headaches, for example, are not caused by a brain tumor, and many of the previously mentioned symptoms are common warning signs of other medical disorders. However, a tumor could be the cause if any of these symptoms develop in combination, and/or if they persist or worsen.

Because earliest Diagnosis of a Spinal cord Tumor in children is essential, you should contact your child’s pediatrician straight once if you see any of the following signs or symptoms:

Chronic neck or back pain: The pain can be localized (limited to a single location) or widespread. Pain can become obvious following a small injury, such as a sports accident. If your child complains of pain in their back that does not go away or worsens, take him or her to the doctor for an evaluation.

Spinal Cord Tumor Diagnosis

A complete medical history and physical examination, including a detailed neurological assessment, preceded an accurate diagnosis. Your child’s doctor may also suggest one or more of the following diagnostic tests:

  • Examination of cerebrospinal fluid for tumor cells
  • Radiological imaging examinations are used to determine the location and appearance of a tumor.
  • MRI scan, which can aid the physician in determining the structure, exact location, and size of the tumor in relation to the spinal cord CT scan, which is occasionally utilized to better see the bone structures
  • A biopsy of the actual tumor is required to obtain a correct categorization.

How Is the Treatment of Pediatric Spinal Cord Tumor Done

The treatment methodology is determined by several criteria, including the tumor’s location, whether it is benign or malignant, and the child’s age and overall condition.

Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and targeted immunotherapy medications are frequently used to treat brain and spinal cord tumors.

To design a treatment plan, Best Pediatric Neurosurgeons in India may work with neurologists, oncologists, and rehabilitation therapists, among others.

In most circumstances, surgical removal of the spinal cord tumor is the best option to protect the child’s developing nervous system and its function. Even benign tumors should be removed before they intrude on the spinal cord.

Following Spinal Cord Tumour Surgery

Each patient’s recovery process is unique. Children who receive quick diagnosis and treatment fare well after surgery. Some people may develop transient neurological impairments like muscular weakness. Unless there was significant irreversible damage before the child was detected, these symptoms are likely to resolve after surgery. Physical therapy will aid in the restoration of strength and function, as well as the speeding up of recuperation. Some children will require inpatient rehab.

Regular postoperative follow-up appointments are also necessary so that your child’s neurosurgeon may continue to monitor neurological function while also keeping an eye out for tumor recurrence and side effects from chemotherapy or radiation therapy in India.

Risks Associated with Brain and Spinal Cord Tumor of the Children

A risk factor is something that increases a person’s possibilities of developing a medical condition like a brain or spinal cord tumor. The risk factors for various forms of cancer vary.

Diet, body weight, physical activity, and tobacco use are all lifestyle-related risk factors for many adult malignancies. However, it takes several years for these factors to influence cancer risk, and they are not thought to play a significant role in pediatric cancers, including brain tumors.

There are very few risk factors for brain and spinal cord tumors. The majority of these tumors have no known cause.

Most childhood brain and spinal cord tumors have no known cause, according to doctors. Radiation exposure from other medical disorders’ therapies is a probable cause. These tumors can be caused by hereditary abnormalities in rare situations.

Spinal tumors and other types of growth can cause pain, neurological challenges, and even paralysis. A spinal tumor can be fatal or cause lasting disability. Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or other drugs may be used to treat a spinal tumor in India.

Suggestion

If you notice any of the following signs and symptoms of a spinal tumor: chronic, unexplained back pain, weakness or numbness in your legs, or abnormalities in your bowel or bladder function, see your doctor right away.After your doctor evaluates you, you may be sent to a specialist in cancer (oncologist), brain and spinal cord diseases (neurologist, neurosurgeon, or spine surgeon), or bone abnormalities (orthopedic surgeon).

Look after yourself. When possible, eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Consult your doctor to determine when you can resume exercising. Get enough sleep to feel refreshed. Reduce your stress by making time for soothing activities like listening to music or writing in a diary.

References

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