Neurofibromas and schwannomas are both peripheral nervous system tumors that are usually benign. There is often confusion between the two, and sometimes a distinction can only be made by looking at them under the microscope.
They are different however, as their cellular structure and origin are different, they just arise from different cells in the peripheral nerve. Neurofibromas can in a small percentage of people become malignant and grow quickly whereas schwannomas do not. Schwannomas arise from the lining of the nerve, and may be surgically removed more easily than neurofibromas which are more intimately attached to the nerve.
These tumors are associated with a genetic condition called neurofibromatosis (NF). Type 1 NF is associated with neurofibromas and Type 2 NF is associated with scwannomas. Genetic testing for NF is comercially available. There are a set of clinical criteria for the diagnosis that your dcotro should be aware of - includes features such as skin pigmentation spots called cafe au lait spots, axillary freckling, family history etc. Meningiomas are also associated with NF. The severity is varied from hundreds of neurofibromas, to one or two presenting at a later age.
There is no specific treatment apart from consideration of surgical removal if the tumors are compressing nerves significantly. Surgery can be difficult and may involve sacrifcing a nerve. Also, NF2 is associated with scwannomas of the vestibular nerve in the back of the brain and cause hearing loss - if you have hearing loss and there is a questions of NF you should have an MRI
Hello, I had a schwannoma removed from cervical spine nearly 4 years ago. As far as i know a schannoma is always a benigne tumour and a neuroma can sometimes become cancerous. At the moment I have a neuroma in my arm still to be removed, hope this helps, Take Care, Anne
Hi, its Anne again try typing this link into your search engine; http://www.dellonipns.com/schwannoma_neurilemoma.htm Good Luck