What is the Schwannoma (Spinal Cord)?Schwannoma (spinal cord) is a spinal cord tumour that arises from the uncontrolled division or multiplication of Schwann cells that form a protective sheath called myelin sheath around the nerve cells. Schwannoma tumours are usually benign (non-cancerous) and in only 2.5% of cases, these are cancerous.
Disease EpidemiologySchwannoma (spinal cord) usually develops in the elbow, wrist, and knee, but these tumours can develop along the spinal cord, head, and neck. These tumours may also develop in the pelvic (hip) region of the body.
Disease CausesMost of the tumours of the spinal cord develop suddenly. The reason for the development of schwannoma is a fault in the production of the NF2 gene, which produces a protein in the schwannoma cell called merlin or schwannomin.
Signs and SymptomsThe symptoms of a schwannoma (spinal cord) will depend on the size, site of origin and the affected nerve. These tumours usually show no signs or symptoms. The patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Pain, numbness, or weakness in the body
- Weakness in the arms or legs
- The weakness of the muscles on one side of the body
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Imaging tests such as X-Ray, CT-scan (computerized tomography) and PET-scan (Positron emission tomography) help detect the site, size and location of the tumour.
- Tumour biopsy and histopathological examination