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Schwannomas

< Brain & Spine Cancer

Schwannomas

About Schwannomas

A schwannoma is a type of nerve tumor of the nerve sheath. It's the most common type of benign peripheral nerve tumor in adults. It can occur anywhere in your body, at any age.

A schwannoma typically comes from a single bundle (fascicle) within the main nerve and displaces the rest of the nerve. When a schwannoma grows larger, more fascicles are affected, making removal more difficult. In general, a schwannoma grows slowly.

If you develop a schwannoma in an arm or leg, you may notice a painless lump. Schwannomas are rarely cancerous, but they can lead to nerve damage and loss of muscle control. See your doctor if you have any unusual lumps or numbness.


Symptoms

  • Signs and symptoms of peripheral nerve tumors vary depending on the location of the tumors and which tissues are affected. They include:
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Pain, tingling or numbness
  • Swelling or a lump under your skin
  • Weakness or loss of function in the affected area

Risk Factors

It's not clear why most peripheral nerve tumors develop. Some are linked to known inherited syndromes, such as neurofibromatosis (types 1 and 2) and schwannomatosis. Others may be caused by a malfunctioning gene or triggered by injury or surgery.

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