Spinal cord tumors are more common in people who have:

  • Neurofibromatosis 2. In this hereditary disorder, noncancerous tumors develop on or near the nerves related to hearing, which may lead to progressive hearing loss in one or both ears. Some people with neurofibromatosis 2 also develop tumors in the spinal cord.
  • Von Hippel-Lindau disease. This rare, multisystem disorder is associated with noncancerous blood vessel tumors (hemangioblastomas) in the brain, retina and spinal cord and with other types of tumors in the kidneys or adrenal glands.
  • A compromised immune system. Spinal cord lymphomas — cancers that affect lymphocytes, a type of immune cell — are more common in people whose immune systems are compromised by medications or disease.
  • A prior history of cancer. Any type of cancer can travel to the spine, but the cancers that may be more likely to affect the spine include breast, lung, prostate and multiple myeloma.
Oct. 21, 2011

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