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Are spinal cord tumors life-threatening?

Luke Macyszyn, MD
Neurosurgery
Whether a spinal cord tumor is life threatening depends on the type of tumor and location. A benign meningioma may be life threatening if it leads to significant compression of the spinal cord. On the other hand, a malignant glioma in the spinal cord can be life threatening independent of its location. Although spinal cord tumors are usually not life threatening, their proximity to the spinal cord necessitates efficient evaluation and management.

Spinal cord tumors can be life-threatening if they are not treated, even if they aren't cancerous. Compression of the spinal cord can cause paralysis and, in some cases, death if breathing problems result. Nerves can be injured permanently, causing disability, which is a probable long-term consequence of spinal cord tumors.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.