SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spinal cord tumour. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the lower back of a patient with an ependymoma tumour (pale region, upper centre) in the spinal cord (grey, down right of block-shaped vertebrae). The growth of the tumour has put pressure on the lower part of the spinal cord (cauda equina), causing cauda equina syndrome. This can cause lower back pain that often extends to the legs, loss of bladder and bowel control and sensory abnormalities in the legs. Ependymoma is a rare tumour arising from the ventricular lining of the central nervous system. Surgery to remove the tumour, with radiotherapy as a follow- up, can cure the condition.
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