Chordomas are tumors that arise from remnants of the primitive cells that help give rise to the spine and nervous system. These tumors most often occur along the base of the skull, in front of the brainstem or in the lowermost regions of the spine. Men are more commonly involved.
Causes of Chordoma
These tumors arise from remnants of the notochord, a primitive structure extending from the skull to the pelvis in the developing fetus.
Signs and Symptoms of Chordoma
The symptoms of chordoma depend on which area of the nervous system is involved. When the skull is affected, double vision, facial weakness or numbness, problems swallowing or weakness may occur. In addition, hearing loss and balance problems may occur. Occasionally, nasal obstruction and nasal discharge may occur. Headache or facial pain may occur as well. When the lower spine is involved, pain may occur locally in the area where bone is destroyed. Numbness of the genital and rectal regions may occur in combination with difficulties urinating and sexual problems in males. Some degree of weakness or numbness of the legs may occur.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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