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Home >Information for Patients > Dictionary Index

Dictionary of Cancer Terms

View in Spanish: Médula espinal

Spinal cord (SPY-nul kord)
A column of nerve tissue that runs from the base of the skull down the back. It is surrounded by three protective membranes, and is enclosed within the vertebrae (back bones). The spinal cord and the brain make up the central nervous system, and spinal cord nerves carry most messages between the brain and the rest of the body.



 
 
Source: National Cancer Institute Dictionary of Cancer Terms, available at www.cancer.gov/dictionary.