Spinal cord disease in children with malignancies: Clinical cases and literature review
Spinal cord disease in children with known or suspected malignancy is an oncological emergency because it commonly implies malignant spinal cord compression (SCC). Since the outcome of SCC is primarily determined by the patient’s neurological status at treatment initiation, the goal must be to establish the underlying diagnosis before development of irreversible spinal cord damage. A high index of suspicion is key to early diagnosis; it is therefore mandatory that all health care workers involved in the care of children should have a basic acquaintance with this potentially catastrophic condition. Four cases of children with malignancies and spinal cord pathology are presented. Current knowledge of this condition is reviewed.