National Acoustic Neuroma Awareness Week is May 7 – 13, 2017.
The week is dedicated to raising awareness about acoustic neuroma (AN), a slow-growing benign tumor of the vestibular cochlear nerve that connects the ear to the brain. This nerve has two distinct parts, one part associated with transmitting sound and the other with sending balance information to the brain from the inner ear.
Typical symptoms include hearing loss or deafness, pressure in the inner ear, impaired sense of balance and ability to walk, as well as vertigo with associated nausea and vomiting. Many patients report tinnitus, or ringing in the ear. Acoustic neuromas can also affect the facial area, but are usually discovered before they cause facial symptoms. However, if they are large or impacting one of the facial nerves, they can cause numbness, tingling or even paralysis.
Treatment options for patients diagnosed with acoustic neuroma include observation (wait and watch), surgery, and radiation. Stereotactic radiation can be delivered as single-fraction stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) or hypo-fractionated, or staged, treatments lowering associated risks even further.
At Oklahoma CyberKnife, acoustic neuromas are treated with CyberKnife® technology, an advanced form of radiation therapy that does not require anesthesia, incisions or a prolonged recovery time, to deliver focused radiation treatment. The underlying premise is to treat the tumor with a high dose of radiation, while sparing the nerves and brain tissues.
For more information about acoustic neuromas, or any brain tumors treated by CyberKnife technology at Oklahoma CyberKnife, please click here.