Schwannoma Cancer Treatment Options

brain

Each year around 22,000 new cases of brain or spinal cord cancer are in the United States. 1 Regarding brain cancer, there are several different types of the disease, which arise from different cells found in the brain.

Tumors that start in the Schwann cells, which are specialized cells found in the myelin-forming part of brain nerves, are referred to as schwannomas. A fatty substance, myelin is responsible for covering and protecting nerves. When this type of tumor forms near the nerves responsible for balance in the brain, causing loss of balance and coordination, vertigo or facial numbness, they are referred to as vestibular schwannomas or acoustic neruomas.

Schwannomas are usually benign (non-cancerous) tumors that grow slowly.

Treatment options for schwannomas is largely depending on the size and location of the tumor, but may include the following:

Surgery
This form of brain cancer typically is treated with surgery, and majority of the time schwannomas can be cured with the surgical removal.
Radiation Therapy
In those tumors that are not entirely removed with surgery, a form of radiation called stereoatic radiotherapy or steroatic radiosurgery can be given. In this procedure, a large, precise, external dose of radiation is delivered to the area where the schwannoma is located. It can be given once (referred to as radiosurgery) or over the course of several treatment sessions (referred to as radiotherapy).
Chemotherapy
While effective for other forms of brain cancer, chemotherapy is not used to treat schwannomas.

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