What is Malignant Meningioma (Spinal Cord)?
Malignant meningioma (spinal cord) is a rare type of cancer that arises from the uncontrolled division or multiplication of cells that form the protective layer named meninges around the brain and the spinal cord. Meningioma tumours usually originate from the meningeal cells of the brain and in 12% of cases; it originates from the meningeal cells of the spinal cord. It commonly affects the upper spine (cervical vertebrae) and middle spine (thoracic vertebrae). In 95% of the patients, these tumours of the spinal cord are not cancerous and do not grow very rapidly and spread to other distant parts of the body.
There is no well-known reason; however, certain hereditary and genetic mutations, along with certain risk factors such as obesity, female gender, previous exposure to certain radiation or radiation therapy, and the presence of a genetic condition called neurofibromatosis type 2, may contribute to the development of malignant spinal meningioma. It usually develops in people between the ages of 50-70 years.
Signs and Symptoms
The patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Pain in the back
- Difficulty in walking or writing
- Weakness of a single or both sides of the body
- Weakness of the muscles of the arms and legs
- Urine incontinence (occasional leakage of urine while coughing, sneezing, and laughing)
- Fecal incontinence (occasional leakage of stool while coughing and passing gas)
- Loss of sensation of hearing, vision, smell, and taste
- Changes in behaviour and personality
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
Radiotherapy is the main treatment option for spinal cord tumours because it preserves the neurological functions of the spinal cord. The other treatment options are chemotherapy and targeted immunotherapy.
What Support can we Give for Malignant Meningioma (Spinal Cord)?
Malignant Meningioma (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 Malignant Meningioma (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!
You can help us with your donation:
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: