This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Spinal meningioma is a rare type of spinal cord cancer. The spinal cord is part of the central nervous system. This tumor often affects middle-aged women. Tumors of the spinal cord can be either primary or arise from other primary tumors (metastatic), and are typically slow growing. The initial signs and symptoms include headache and recent onset of seizures. Other features are motor deficits, sensory deficits, pain, and sphincter dysfunction. The thoracic spine (middle back) is the most common site, followed by the cervical spine (neck). These tumors are rarely seen in the lumbar region (lower back). The only proven risk factor in the development of meningioma is exposure to ionizing radiation. Also, patients with neurofibromatosis type 2 are at increased risk of developing meningioma. Surgery is the treatment of choice and complete tumor removal is reached in the vast majority of patients. The prognosis after surgical resection is excellent.
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