Signs and symptoms of brain or spinal cord tumors may occur gradually and become worse over time, or they can happen suddenly, such as with a seizure.

Tumors in any part of the brain may cause the pressure inside the skull (known as intracranial pressure) to rise. This can be caused by growth of the tumor itself, swelling in the brain, or blockage of the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Increased pressure can lead to general symptoms such as: Headache, Nausea, Vomiting, Blurred vision, Balance problems, Personality or behavior changes, Seizures, Drowsiness or even coma.

Tests and investigations for spinal cord tumours

The doctors need to find out as much as possible about the type, position and size of the tumour, so they can plan your treatment. You may have a number of tests and investigations.

Incontinence and decreased sensitivity in the saddle area (buttocks) are generally considered warning signs of spinal cord compression by the tumor. Other symptoms of spinal cord compression include lower extremity weakness, sensory loss, and rapid onset paralysis. The diagnosis of primary spinal cord tumors is very difficult, mainly due to its symptoms, which tend to be wrongly attributed to more common and benign degenerative spinal diseases.

The diagnosis of primary spinal cord tumors is difficult, mainly due to their symptoms, which in early stages mimic more common and benign degenerative spinal diseases. MRI and bone scanning are used for diagnostic purposes. This assesses not only the location of the tumor(s) but also their relationship with the spinal cord and the risk of cord compression.

5 Nursing Diagnosis for Spinal Cord Tumor
  1. Pain (acute / chronic)
  2. Self-care deficit
  3. Disturbed Sensory Perception
  4. Impaired physical mobility
  5. Risk for Ineffective Breathing Pattern