Also known as: Neurilemoma, neurinoma, benign Schwannoma, peripheral fibroblastoma

What is schwannoma?

Schwannoma is most frequently a benign (non-spreading) tumor of both children and young adults that begins in the Schwann cells (the cells of the membrane that protects the nerves) of any peripheral nerve in the body; often in the nerves of the head, neck, arms or legs.

What causes schwannoma?

The cause is not known and most are not inherited. They may however be associated with a number of disorders including a rare disease called neurofibromatosis. In children with neurofibromatosis, children may develop multiple tumors, and mutations (abnormalities) in a gene may be found which can be passed on.

What are the symptoms of schwannoma?

As schwannomas can form anywhere, specific symptoms will vary and may be vague. The most common symptom of a schwannoma is the presence of the mass/lump under the skin. Later it may pinch the nerve and cause pain or a shock when it’s touched. If the tumor puts pressure on a major nerve, it might cause loss of function.

What are schwannoma care options?

Treatment depends on the size and location of the tumor (and whether it is benign or cancerous). Surgical removal is the usual primary treatment.

Reviewed by: Aaron Berger, MD

This page was last updated on: January 15, 2020 09:53 AM