Pediatric Spinal Cord Tumors

What Are Pediatric Spinal Cord Tumors?

Pediatric spinal cord tumors are a fairly common type of childhood cancer in which abnormal cells form in the tissue inside the spinal column. Although these tumors can be cancerous or non-cancerous, they should be treated immediately because they can cause serious health problems as they grow and place pressure on the spinal cord.

 

Nerves located within the spinal cord connect the brain to other parts of the body, carrying messages that make the body move, taste, feel, etc. When a tumor develops, body functions may be affected, such as:

 

  • Partial paralysis and/or trouble walking
  • Spinal deformity
  • Back pain or pain that spreads from the back towards the arms or legs
  • A change in bowel habits or trouble urinating
  • Leg weakness

 

In addition, some children aren’t able to reach certain growth and developmental milestones such as sitting up and walking.

pediatric spinal cord tumors
pediatric spinal cord tumors

Treatment Options

Children and teens with brain and spinal cord tumors and their families have special needs. At BSSNY, we work closely with the child’s primary care doctor in order to maximize a successful outcome.

 

Typically, we will perform surgery to remove or reduce the size of the tumor and alleviate the pressure on the spinal column caused by the tumor. Once the surgery has been performed, a pathologist examines tumor tissue to determine the exact type of tumor. Our team is led by a board-certified pediatric neurosurgeon who is expert in the treatment of pediatric spinal cord tumors.