About Acoustic Neuroma
What is an Acoustic Neuroma?
An acoustic neuroma (or schwannoma) is a benign tumor which manifests itself on the sheath surrounding the eighth cranial nerve, affecting the functions of the inner ear. Because many of the symptoms are also indicative of other less serious ailments, acoustic neuromas are often misdiagnosed or undetected.
If untreated, an acoustic neuroma is life-threatening, making it imperative that individuals with persistent inner-ear problems be evaluated to eliminate the possibility of an acoustic neuroma.
Further information for your review:(from John Hopkins Hospital)
Three non-invasive tests for diagnosis are:
- BAER Test (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response Test)
- CAT Scan (Computerized Axial Tomography)
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
- Detection and Diagnosis of Acoustic Neuromas (www.anausa.org)
- Here's a handy Patient Checklist for you to use. (pdf document)
- Get involved in your health care. (from Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations)
There are three treatment options available to a patient. These options are
- Observation (monitoring)
- Microsurgical removal (partial or total)
- Stereotactic Radiosurgery (single fraction) or Radiotherapy (multiple fractions)
Some important details that will result in treatment choice are:
- your age
- size of your tumor
- symptoms that you have
- your medical health
At this point you will probably be dealing with a medical specialist familiar with Acoustic Neuromas and the various treatment options. This is very important. He or she will offer you the best treatment option for your situation, taking all factors into account.
Surgery is the only option available for actually removing an Acoustic Neuroma. While a non-invasive treatment (like the gamma knife) sounds appealing, it is not a treatment of choice for everyone. Your medical specialist will help you with your decision, based on his/her medical training and experience.
We have chosen these references for you to learn more about the various choices avaiable:
National Institute of Health - What are Possible Adverse Consequences of Treatment and What are the Management Options for Each?
http://www.med.umn.edu/otol/library/aneuroma/treatmen.htm - University of Minnesota
http://www.ukan.co.uk/bana/treatments/monitoring.htm - British Acoustic Neuroma Association
http://www.anausa.org/treat.htm - Treatment Options for Acoustic Neuromas
Acoustic Neuromas and Skull Base Surgery - The Ear Research Foundation
http://www.acousticneuroma.neurosurgery.pitt.edu/ - Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh
http://www.ohsu.edu/som-Otolaryn/somweb/treatment.htm - Oregon Health & Science University
Stereotactic Radiosurgery or Radiotherapy
The International Radiosurgery Association (IRSA) (formerly The International Gamma Support Association) is an independent organization dedicated to providing educational information, emotional support, and physician and site referral on stereotactic radiosurgery... The different types of treatment.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery & Radiotherapy (The Cleveland Clinic)
Proton Beam Radiosurgery Massachusetts General Hospital
Radiotherapy Management Dr. R. Ojemann, Massachusetts General Hospital
Official site of the Leksell Gamma Knife - Articles, treatment, locations, support groups
Articles: Radiation Oncology and Acoustic Neuromas
John Hopkins Hospital:
Image-guided Radiotherapy (IGRT) patient treatment process