A spinal tumor is an abnormal growth within the spinal canal or the vertebrae. These abnormal tissues grow and multiply uncontrollably without the mechanisms that control normal cellular growth. Spinal tumors can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous), and they may occur primarily in the spinal cord or spread to the spine from other parts of the body. If left undiagnosed and untreated, spinal tumors can be life-threatening or may cause permanent disability. As such, if you notice potential signs or symptoms of spinal tumors, you must consult Dr. Brian McHugh immediately.
Diagnosing & treating Spinal tumor
- Intradural-Extramedullary: The spinal tumor is located within the dura, i.e., the thin covering of the spinal cord, but outside the spinal cord itself.
- Intramedullary: The spinal tumor is located inside the spinal cord, originating from the spinal cord cells, such as gliomas, astrocytomas, and ependymomas.
- Extradural: The spinal tumor is outside the thin covering of the spinal cord, often derived from the nerve roots cells.
“The staff was very helpful & friendly. Dr. McHugh listened to what I had to say about my respective issues. His office then called - made my appointments- it could not have gone any smoother than it did.”
There’s no clear consensus on the root cause of spinal tumors. Experts suggest that spinal tumors may be caused by defective genes. However, it’s not certain whether they’re caused by inherited bad genes or due to defective genes developed over time due to external factors, like exposure to specific chemicals. In some cases, spinal tumors may be linked to underlying genetic diseases, such as neurofibromatosis 2 and a multi-system disorder called Von Hippel-Lindau disease.
The signs and symptoms of spinal tumors can often be misattributed to other spinal conditions, making it an extremely under-diagnosed and dangerous problem. However, Dr. McHugh leverages his immense knowledge and experience to identify the warning signs of spinal tumors at the earliest stage possible. After discussing your medical history, family history, and symptoms, he administers a series of diagnostic tests, including spinal MRIs, CT scans, and spinal biopsy.