Spinal Cancer Risk Factors
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What Are the Risk Factors for Spinal Cancer?
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.
Although little is known about the causes of spinal cancer, the following may increase an individual’s risk of developing certain types of spinal cancer:
- Prior history of cancer: Cancers that may be more likely to spread to the spine include breast, lung, prostate and multiple myeloma.
- Hereditary disorders: Von Hippel-Lindau disease and Neurofibromatosis (NF2) are inherited conditions that are sometimes associated with tumors in the spinal cord.
- Compromised immune system: Some people whose immune systems are compromised develop spinal cord lymphomas.
- Exposures: Exposure to radiation therapy or industrial chemicals may increase the likelihood of developing spinal cancer.
Assessing the Risk Factors for Spinal Cancer
It’s important to remember that a risk factor only affects the probability of developing spinal cancer over a lifetime. Talk to your doctor about your individual spinal cancer risk.
NOTE: 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 does not mean that you won't get cancer. If you think you may be at risk, you should discuss it with your doctor.
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