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Spinal cancer risk factors

The causes of spinal tumors are still largely unknown. Although there are some genetic conditions which may contribute to the development of spinal cancer, the risk factors are much less defined for spinal cancer than for other cancers in the body.

cancer risks

Spinal cancer risk factors


  • Prior history of cancer: Cancers that may be more likely to spread to the spine include breast, lung, prostate and multiple myeloma.
  • Compromised immune system: Some people whose immune systems are compromised develop spinal cord lymphomas.


  • Hereditary disorders: Von Hippel-Lindau disease and Neurofibromatosis (NF2) are inherited conditions that are sometimes associated with tumors in the spinal cord.


  • Exposures: Exposure to radiation therapy or industrial chemicals may increase the likelihood of developing spinal cancer.

Understanding risk factors

Anything that increases your risk of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer. Not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer. If you think you may be at risk, you should discuss it with your doctor.

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