Spinal Cord Tumors

What Is It?

The spinal cord, which lies protected inside the spine (backbones), contains bundles of nerves that transmit messages between the brain and the nerves throughout the body. A tumor on or near the spinal cord can disrupt this communication, impair function and seriously threaten health.

Spinal cord tumors are masses of abnormal cells that grow in the spinal cord, between its protective sheaths, or on the surface of the sheath that covers the spinal cord. Primary spinal cord tumors develop within the spinal cord rather than spreading from other parts of the body. These primary tumors usually are noncancerous (benign) and even the cancerous ones rarely spread to other parts of the body.

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