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What is schwannoma (neurilemoma)?

Schwannoma (also called neurilemoma) is a benign tumor that can arise from any nerve in the body, but tends to favor certain nerves located in the head and neck, as well as nerves that are involved in flexing the upper and lower extremities. These tumors are generally non-aggressive and easily treated. They arise in the nerve sheath, the membrane that covers and provides insulation to the nerve cells. These tumors typically occur in young adults, but can be diagnosed in children. The cause is unknown, but they may occur in patients with neurofibromatosis type 2.

Schwannoma (Neurilemoma) | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of schwannoma neurilemmoma?

Patients with tumors that affect nerves close to the surface will likely discover a mass sooner than those with a tumor affecting a more deep-seated nerve. The most common symptoms of schwannoma include a painless or painful mass that is slow-growing or an electric-like shock, called Tinel shock, when the affected area is touched.

Schwannoma (Neurilemoma) | Diagnosis & Treatments

How is schwannoma neurilemoma diagnosed?

In addition to undergoing a complete physical exam and medical history, your child may have one or more of the following tests:

How is schwannoma neurilemmoma treated?

Neurosurgery to remove the tumor from the nerve is the treatment of choice for schwannoma. This rarely disturbs the nerve’s function. Review of family history and other diagnostic criteria for neurofibromatosis type 2 is important for children diagnosed with schwannoma. Radiation therapy may be used following surgery to kill any remaining tumor cells.

How we care for schwannoma neurilemmoma

Patients with schwannomas are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer & Blood Disorders Center through the Solid Tumor Center.

Schwannoma (Neurilemoma) | Programs & Services