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Thread: benign tumor t10-12

  1. #1

    benign tumor t10-12

    Hello,
    I am a 53 yr old woman with a benign tumor intradural t10-12 8 mm. I am lost. i have had 2 opinions, 1 dr. wants to operate, 1 dr. says wait 6 mths and see what happens. I have no pain, symptoms etc. this was found by chance. i was having lower back pain due to degn. arthritis ( boy do i not like that guy!) i am going to a 3rd opinion.insurance is limited. I was told that if i do not have it removed i could be paralyzed, by the 1st doc. 2nd guy doesn't seem concerned. how fast do they grow, what are the problems that follow, should i leave it alone. i am definately scared. i cannot even focus or entertain the idea of becoming paralyzed. i already have a brother, that lives w/me that is a para.at the same level. what questions do i need to ask. thanks for your time, any info suggestions greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Sarah,


    How did you find out about the tumor, through MRI? Did you have a biopsy? What type of tumor is it? How are you now, beside the lower back pain, can you still being able to walk? I was diagnosis through MRI in the year 2001 of having a begnin tumor, the neurosurgeon didn't recommend surgery also at that time because he afraid I will be paralyzed. I was very healthy at that time, I was 41 yrs old, that is why I didn't want to have a surgery. I don't want to be paralyzed. Three years later in 2004, I have my first biopsy. Can't find out what kind of tumor is it, I have another biopsy in 2006 and found out I have Schwanommas. It is a begnin tumor. It grows very slowly, according to the doctors, but it is getting larger and are pressing the nerve against the spine, that is why I have all those lower back pain. I have the biopsy in 2006 is because my condition is worsen, I have incontinent, first time in my life, so I decided to have the surgery. I walk into the surgery room in April 2006, I came out of the surgery paralyzed my right leg. I am currently on wheelchair, recovered very slowly. I am considered incomplete because I can still move my left leg. I have therapy everyday, and have AFO on my left leg, KAFO on my right leg, using paralell bar and walker, I try to walk everyday. I don't have any sensory on both of my feet, that's why it is difficult to walk normally. Well, it came out worsen after the surgery. Would I have the surgery if I know this happened? I don't know the answer, I have no more lower back pain, but I lost B,B & S function. I can't walk, I lost sensory on my right leg and both feet. I hope my story will help you somewhat in deciding what to do.

    Steve

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I had a tumor removed from my spinal cord at T6-7 that left me with an incomplete injury. But I was already in bad shape when the tumor was found, and getting worse by the minute.

    You have no symptoms. I would agree with the doctor who recommends looking at it again in 6 months. That tumor has been there for a long time. You may be lucky and never present symptoms.

  4. #4
    I had one from C3-C7 and I had it taken out because the tumor was trying to separate my cord. If you have no symptoms then why not wait. You can also visit this site for many opinions and also you can send your MRI to Dr. George Jallo at John Hopkins. I hear he is the best at this procedure and problem.

    Visit www.spinalcordtumor.org

  5. #5
    This is not an easy decision. If the tumor is growing, it is likely at some time it will cause symptoms. Waiting until then to do surgery would not assure that any impairment you have at that time would go away.

    On the other hand, the surgery itself is certainly a risk for long-term impairment.

    I would suggest that you get at least 2 neurosurgical opinions, and ideally an opinion from a neuro-oncologist before you decide what you want to do.

    (KLD)

  6. #6
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    KLD, I wonder why you suggest an opinion from a neuro-oncologist when it has already been established that the tumor is benign? The surgery itself is loaded with life threatening risks. Why not wait a few months to see if the tumor is growing and causing symptoms that she is not experiencing at this time?

  7. #7
    Neuro-oncologist don't just deal with malignant tumors. They are also expert in management of benign tumors.

    The concern with waiting is that you may wait until you loose your ability to walk or control your bowels/bladder (and it can occur suddenly) and then doing surgery may be too late. Those impairments may not come back if it is removed at that time.

    (KLD)

  8. #8
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    My 4 year old son was (eventually) diagnosed with a spinal tumour a year ago (T3-T9, 90mm in length). He had some problems walking and running (he would fall over regularly, and his gait looked different), but no other obvious problems. We were told that surgery was the way forward, and given no other options.

    The surgery has resulted in T6 complete paraplegia. And they didn't remove all of the tumour. The tumour was diagnosed (after his operation) as pilomyxoid astrocytoma (PMA), which is not benign, so he currently has 3 monthly MRIs to see whether the tumour is growing, and whether he will need chemotherapy or radiotherapy (not recommended at his age).

    You have the benefit of knowing that your tumour is benign, and that it is not currently physically affecting you.

    My advice would be to monitor the tumour, as you have a chance that it will not grow signficantly, if ever. That being said, you have a relatively small tumour compared to my son, so they may be able to remove it completely. If/when you decide to go ahead with surgery, my best recommendation is to find a surgeon with the best track record of success in similar operations. Good luck whichever way you choose.
    Gordon, father of son who became t6 paraplegic at the age of 4 in 2007 as a result of surgery to remove a spinal tumour.

  9. #9
    Sorry I missed this one so here goes...........

    KLD is correct. I myself presented with minimal symptoms initially but in a few weeks deteriorated rather quickly. I did not want to risk the chance of loosing bladder/bowel of walking so we choose to operate. Once you loose function surgery will not bring it back either so waiting for many is not an option.

    As it is because of tumor size/location(took up entire canal from C2-c6) I ended up with sensory issues, pain and weak motor functions, alive yes and a semi-walking miracle so they say. They had to leave 5% of the tumor in or risk major damage. Along the same lines many small tumors can do a significant amount of damage, its all about location, location, location.

    Frequently, the outcomes of a rare SC tumor surgery is due to inexperience of the surgeons so seeking out many opinions is the best. I would also choose a surgeon affiliated with a major medical center. They will have the best in inoperative monitoring of the spinal cord, crucial to this type of surgery.

    And although a surgeon can make an educated guess about a tumor being benign or malignant the only true way to determine if it is, is through surgical removal and a biopsy. Needle biopsies are extremely risky and never once mentioned to me. Chemo or radiation was never mentioned to me as an option for residual tumor and I was told it was not the protocol for a benign tumor.

    It is a very difficult decision to make and I fully understand all involved. Just be as proactive as possible, read all you can (there is tons on the internet) and you must advocate for yourself. TMAZ, is correct in thast George Jallo is one of the best in the field and assisted Fred Epstein with my op back in 99. I highly recommend him.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
    Leia

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