Acoustic Neuroma (Vestibular Schwannoma) Treatment Information
An acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma) is a benign tumor that grows in the Schwann cells covering the vestibular nerve, which leads from the inner ear to the brain. These slow-growing tumors do not spread throughout the body but they can grow large enough to press on the brain or brainstem, which can cause severe symptoms. Acoustic neuromas are most common in adults between ages 40 and 50, although they can occur at any age.
Common symptoms of acoustic neuromas
The vestibular nerve is responsible for hearing and balance, which is why most symptoms of acoustic neuromas relate to these two functions. Symptoms include:
- Hearing loss in one ear
- Tinnitus in one ear
- Balance problems
- A feeling of fullness in one ear
Many of these symptoms also occur along with the natural aging process and are not necessarily indicative of an acoustic neuroma. Even so, it’s important to speak with a physician who can determine the cause.
Moffitt Cancer Center’s approach to treating acoustic neuromas
Acoustic neuroma treatment can vary based on the size of the tumor and the patient’s age and general health. In some cases, monitoring the tumor is the recommended course of action. This is common for patients with small tumors that cause few to no symptoms, and also for older patients who may not be candidates for more aggressive treatment.
Other treatment options include radiation therapy and highly specialized surgery to remove the tumor while preserving hearing and the facial nerve.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, our Neuro-Oncology Program consists of experienced physicians who specialize in medical oncology, radiation oncology, neurosurgery and clinical psychology, allowing us to provide a comprehensive range of acoustic neuroma treatment in a single location. Our patients are treated as individuals, and our specialists will closely review your case to ensure you receive the highest caliber of medical attention and treatment that meets your unique needs.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Michael Vogelbaum, Program Leader, Department of Neuro-Oncology.
If you have been diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma and would like to learn more about your treatment options, you can request an appointment at Moffitt by calling 1-888-663-3488. You can also submit a new patient registration form online to arrange a consultation with our team.