A schwannoma, or a neuroma, is a benign tumor that develops in the sheathing
surrounding the nerve cells. Schwann cells support the function of nerve
cells, and schwannomas can develop anywhere Schwann cells are present.
They usually form in two places:
Spinal schwannomas can develop anywhere in and around the spine. They can press on the spinal
cord and nerves causing pain, numbness and weakness.
Cranial Nerves: Acoustic neuromas sometimes develop in the eighth cranial nerve, which
is the nerve that connects the ear to the brain
A very small percentage of Schwannomas are malignant tumors called neurofibrosarcomas,
but the majority of Schwann cell tumors are benign. A schwannoma often
requires surgical removal even if it’s benign, because the pressure
it creates as it grows can cause damage to the nerves and/or spine.
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