A type of cancer that arises from rhabdomyoblasts which are immature muscle cells. The tumors can occur arise from muscle tissue almost anywhere in the body but in the embryonal form, tends to occur primarily in the head, neck and genitourinary areas. Symptoms depend on size and location of the tumor.
Head lump Neck lump Genitourinary symptoms Prostate lump Tongue lump
Treatment of spinal cord tumors generally includes decompression or radiation. Laminectomy is indicated for primary tumors that produce spinal cord or cauda equina compression; it isn't usually indicated for metastatic tumors. If the tumor is slowly progressive or if it's treated before the cord degenerates from compression, symptoms are likely to disappear, and complete restoration of function is possible. In a patient with metastatic carcinoma or lymphoma who suddenly experiences complete transverse myelitis with spinal shock, functional improvement is unlikely, even with treatment, and his outlook is ominous. If the patient has incomplete paraplegia of rapid onset, emergency surgical decompression may save cord function. Steroid therapy with dexamethasone minimizes cord edema and temporarily relieves symptoms until surgery can be performed. Partial removal of intramedullary gliomas, followed by radiation, may alleviate symptoms for a short time. Metastatic extradural tumors can be controlled with radiation, analgesics and, in the case of hormone-mediated tumors (breast and prostate), appropriate hormone therapy. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may control radicular pain from spinal cord tumors and is a useful alternative to opioid analgesics. In TENS, an electrical charge is applied to the skin to stimulate large-diameter nerve fibers and thereby inhibit transmission of pain impulses through small-diameter nerve fibers. Chemotherapy generally hasn't proven effective against most spinal tumors, but may be recommended in some cases.