What is Haemangioblastoma of the Spinal Cord?
Haemangioblastoma of the spinal cord is a rare type of benign tumour that arises from the lining of the blood vessels supplying blood to the spinal cord and is usually present on the surface of the spinal cord. Haemangioblastoma can also arise from the brain and retina of the eye. In 50% of cases, it affects the thoracic (chest region of the back) vertebrae of the spinal cord and in 40% of cases, haemangioblastoma of the spinal cord originates from the cervical vertebrae (neck region of the spinal cord).
In 20-30% of haemangioblastoma of the spinal cord is caused by a genetic disease called Von-Hippel-Lindau disease. Von-Hippel Lindau disease is a rare disease and affects 1 in 36000 people. It usually affects children. It is equally common in both males and females.
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms may vary based on the site, size, and extent of the tumour. The patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- If the tumour develops in the neck region of the spinal cord the patient may suffer from pain in the neck, burning and prickling sensation in the neck, weakness, and wasting of the neck muscles.
- Skin’s abdominal senses (impulses) won’t function if a tumour grows in the vertebrae that make up the thoracic (chest) region of the spinal cord.
- If the tumour develops in the lower region of the spinal cord the patient may suffer from pain in the back, and legs.
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 tumour.
- Tumour biopsy (tumour biopsy to remove a small sample of tissue for histopathological examination)
- USG-guided fine needle aspiration cytology
Surgical resection (surgical removal of the damaged part of the body) of the tumour is the main treatment; other treatment options are chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
What Support can we Give for Haemangioblastoma of Spinal Cord?
Haemangioblastoma 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 Haemangioblastoma 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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Without a Ribbon is a charity that works hard to aid those who suffer from rare cancers. You can help our cause in a variety of ways: