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What is the typical progression of malignant spinal hemangiomas?

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The progression of a malignant spinal hemangioma is dependent upon its growth rate and location on the spinal cord. Typically, symptoms such as pain, motor problems and sensory changes develop from a spinal hemangioma. If left untreated, a spinal hemangioma can lead to paralysis, permanent disability and death, explains Drugs.com.

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Malignant spinal hemangiomas generally grow slowly and progressively worsen over time. Symptoms develop if a hemangioma presses against the spinal cord or the nerves surrounding it. Blood flow to the spinal cord may also be restricted by the hemangioma. The symptoms of a spinal hemangioma typically manifest in a part of the body level with or below the hemangioma, notes Drugs.com.

Hemangiomas can cause severe and constant back pain characterized by a burning or aching sensation. Pain may also feel as though it is coming from other body parts and can get progressively worse with time despite treatment. A hemangioma may cause a loss of sensation in the legs and arms, making walking difficult and increasing the chance of falling. Changes in sensation may involve tingling, numbness, and less sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. If a hemangioma disrupts nerve communication, it can cause a loss of bowel and bladder control as well as progressive muscle weakness, according to Drugs.com and Mayo Clinic. Muscle weakness can occur to varying degrees depending on where the hemangioma is situated on the spine.

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