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An acoustic neuroma is a benign (noncancerous) tumor that usually grows slowly. It is also referred to as a vestibular schwannoma.
Acoustic neuromas develop on the vestibular nerve leading from your inner ear to your brain. The nerve helps with hearing and balance and is considered a cranial nerve, meaning it emerges directly from the brain. Acoustic neuromas start on the Schwann cells that protect cranial nerves.
You may not need immediate treatment for an acoustic neuroma. Small, slow-growing acoustic neuromas that do not cause symptoms may not require direct intervention. If you and your doctor decide to pursue “watchful waiting,” your doctor will periodically perform brain scans to evaluate the tumor and look for signs of growth.
If an acoustic neuroma needs to be treated, our doctors use 2 main categories of treatment: surgery and radiation therapy. You and your doctor work together to identify the best option for you, based on factors such as:
Size of the tumor
Growth of the tumor
Presence of any symptoms
What to Expect
As you and your family prepare for your care at Stanford, you’ll likely have many questions. We are here to help you in any way we can and to partner with you before, during and after treatment.
Clinical trials evaluate new approaches, devices, or medications in the treatment of acoustic neuromas. Ask your doctor or clinical trials coordinator about available trials that may be additional options for your care.
To learn more about the clinical trials we offer, contact Maria Coburn at 650-736-9551.