SPINAL CHORDOMA - Overview, Facts, Types, Symptoms,etc. - Watsons


Spinal Cordoma is a primary brain tumor that usually occurs along the spine or the skull base that is rare and cancerous is called a chordoma. This tumor is most often located at three sites, namely, at the skull base, sacrum (bottom of the spine), and spine. It coalesces from small fragments of a coil of cells in the embryo that ultimately turns into the disks of the vertebral column.

The incidence of chordoma in men is twice as compared to women. The majority of tumors manifest between ages 50 and 70, although it could still occur at any age.

A chordoma is slow-growing, but it is difficult to treat. This is because it is near the spinal cord and other critical structures, i.e. nervous tissue and the carotid artery.


The symptomatology of the chordoma is entirely dependent on its location. However, spinal chordomas exhibit the following signs and symptoms:

  • Loss of control over your bowels
  • Mass in the lower part of your back
  • Numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arms or legs
  • Pain in your lower back
  • Problems controlling your bladder


Your doctor will request for tests and procedures to diagnose your spinal chordoma These include:

Performing a biopsy. A biopsy is a procedure wherein a sample tissue is sent to the laboratory for testing. Pathologists, doctors who examine the sample tissue, determine whether the sample is cancerous or not. It is a must in the treatment of a chordoma to seek the professional medical opinion of a doctor who has experience in diagnosing and treating chordomas. The person performing your biopsy will coordinate with a surgeon for it not to interfere with the surgery.

Acquisition of more conclusive imaging. Your doctor may request an MRI or CT scan to determine whether your chordoma has metastasized or not.

Your treatment and management plan is tailored to your needs. This is done in coordination with a radiation oncologist and a surgical oncologist.



Surgery. The ultimate objective is to remove the tumor in its entirety, if permissible. However, the surgical option may prove to be challenging if the tumor is in proximity with other critical structures like the spinal cord.

Radiation therapy. During radiation therapy, highly energized beams of the electromagnetic spectrum are used to kill cancer cells. This radiation is aimed towards specific points of your body. This treatment strategy is used preceding or succeeding surgery or if there is no surgical option.

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