Acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma) is a tumor that develops in the main nerve leading from the inner ear to the brain. It is noncancerous and, in most cases, very slow-growing. In extremely rare cases, it can grow quickly and may affect vital functions by putting pressure on the brain.
The cause of the disease is unknown, but the main and the only confirmed risk factor is having a rare genetic disorder known as neurofibromatosis type 2.
The symptoms of the disease are very subtle and usually take time to develop, which causes the condition to be rarely noticed early on. In most cases, people with acoustic neuroma experience slight ringing in the affected ear, balance issues and mild hearing loss in the same ear.
If you notice these symptoms, reach out to your doctor. Although it may be benign and noncancerous, the tumor continues to grow. Left untreated, it may grow into the skull cavity and cause further complications that can even be fatal.
Common Treatment Options for Acoustic Neuroma
Your treatment options will depend on the size and location of the tumor, your health and age, the damage the tumor has done and a few other factors.
The most common options are:
- Observation- In general, most treatments start with observation to see how the tumor is behaving. If it’s not causing any significant symptoms, then ongoing observation is the preferred option. That’s especially the case for older adults and patients with existing conditions, as surgery can cause unnecessary complications.
- Surgery – The goal here is to remove as much tumor tissue as possible while preserving normal tissue to avoid complications like hearing loss. The exact surgery method will depend on the size and location of the tumor.
- Radiosurgery or radiotherapy – This option involves destroying the tumor with radiation. In most cases, high doses are targeted directly at the tumor thus preserving the surrounding tissue.
CyberKnife Treatment for Acoustic Neuroma
In many cases, the best treatment option for acoustic neuroma is CyberKnife radiosurgery. CyberKnife is a revolutionary and noninvasive treatment option for most cancerous and noncancerous tumors and other conditions that are treated with radiation therapy.
CyberKnife involves high-precision robot technology that destroys the tumor–no matter where it’s located in the body–without causing harm to healthy tissue. With more than two decades of continuous use, numerous studies have proven its efficiency and precision. In thousands of cured patients, CyberKnife continues to be the preferred treatment method.
Hundreds of people each year turn to TBRO to treat their Acoustic Neuromas and get their balance back. We encourage you to call us at 850-610-3743, ask us a question, or consult with us to get a second opinion, so you too can experience the difference.