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Spinal cord tumours

40% of all cancers spread to the brain

    The spinal cord extends from the base of the brain, to down inside the bones of the backbone, which is also known as the spine or the spinal column.

    The spinal cord does not extend the full length of the spinal column, but ends in the small of the back (the lumbar area).

    Intramedullary tumours are located within the nerves of the spinal cord. There are several different types of cancer of the spinal cord, but the most common are astrocytomas and ependymomas and these are most common in children.

    Intradural extramedullary tumours start inside the coverings of the spinal cord, but outside the cord itself. Meningiomas and nerve-sheath tumours, such as schwannomas, are the most common types of intradural extramedullary spinal tumour and most often are diagnosed in adults.

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