What is Medulloblastoma (Spinal Cord)?
Medulloblastoma (Spinal Cord) is a type of tumour that develops due to the uncontrolled division or multiplication of certain cells of the cerebellum. The cerebellum is a part of the brain that is present at the back side of the brain just above the spinal cord. These cancer cells that are originating in the cerebellum can spread to the spinal cord via the cerebrospinal fluid. Medulloblastoma (Spinal Cord) is a fast-growing tumour and can spread to the other parts of the spinal cord through cerebrospinal fluid and other parts of the body, particularly to the bones and lymph nodes.
What is Cerebrospinal Fluid?
Cerebrospinal fluid is a fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord and also provides nutrients to the nerve cells of the brain and spinal cord. It shows a good prognosis (likely course of the disease) with a 5-year survival rate of 72%.
There is no well-known cause, but some inherited genetic mutations in those genes that control the function and division of cells that make up the cerebellum may contribute to the development of spinal cord medulloblastoma. Medulloblastoma usually affects children and teenagers under the age of 16.
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
- Nausea, vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Mental confusion
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 Medulloblastoma (Spinal Cord)?
Medulloblastoma (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 Medulloblastoma (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: