What is Anaplastic Ependymoma of the Spinal Cord?
Anaplastic Ependymoma is a rare type of cancer of the brain and spinal cord that develop due to the abnormal growth of a particular type of glial cells called ependymal cells of the brain and spinal cord. Glial cells are the support cells of the brain and spinal cord that provides a protective sheath to the nerve cell making the lining of the ventricles of the brain and the nutrition to the nerve cells of the brain and spinal cord. Anaplastic ependymoma of the spinal cord is a slow-growing tumor and usually develops in adults.
There is no well-known cause; however, having a genetic disorder named neurofibromatosis type 2 can cause anaplastic ependymoma of the spinal cord.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of anaplastic ependymoma of the spinal cord depend upon the site, size, and extent of the tumor. Most of the symptoms develop due to the increased pressure of the tumor on the deep and nearby parts of the brain. Anaplastic astrocytoma of the spinal cord develops over a prolonged period but grows rapidly. The common symptoms are
- Constant headache
- Constant feeling of tiredness
- Altered level of consciousness
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty in walking and writing
The following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are;
- Imaging techniques like Chest X-ray, CT-scan, MRI, and PET scan to see the site, size, and extent of the tumor.
- Tumor biopsy (tumor biopsy to remove a small sample of tissue for histopathological examination)
- Sputum cytology
- USG-guided fine needle aspiration cytology
Surgical resection (surgical removal of the damaged part of the body) of the tumor is the main treatment; other treatment options are chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
What Support can we Give for Anaplastic Ependymoma of the Spinal Cord?
Anaplastic Ependymoma of the Spinal Cord is rare cancer, meaning it is not as well known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Anaplastic Ependymoma of the Spinal Cord, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
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