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It is estimated that only one person in every 100,000 in the United States is diagnosed with acoustic neuroma each year. While they can develop at almost any age, acoustic neuromas most commonly occur between 40 and 50.
Recent studies have shown that more cases of acoustic neuroma are being diagnosed. This may be due partly to advances in MRI scanning.
The tumors usually grow slowly and do not spread through the body. They generally affect hearing, balance and facial nerves. Although acoustic neuroma is not cancer, tumors can be dangerous if they grow large and press against the brainstem or brain.
Acoustic Neuroma Risk Factors
The cause of acoustic neuroma is not known. Neurofibromatosis type 2, a genetic disorder, can lead to acoustic neuroma formation in a small number of cases.
If you are concerned about this inherited family syndrome, we offer advanced genetic testing to let you know your risk.
Although there are theories that exposure to loud noise, head and neck radiation, or use of cellular phones may increase likelihood of acoustic neuromas, none of these have been scientifically proven.
Learn more about acoustic neuroma:
Why choose MD Anderson for your acoustic neuroma treatment?
MD Anderson’s Head and Neck Center offers customized treatment for patients with acoustic neuroma. Because they are uncommon and complex, acoustic neuromas demand attention from a highly skilled, diverse group of specialists.
The physicians and other professionals at MD Anderson have a remarkable level of experience and expertise in treating acoustic neuroma.
Acoustic neuroma or its treatment can cause hearing loss. MD Anderson’s comprehensive Audiology Section helps evaluate and manage this issue. Rehabilitation services include conventional hearing aids, bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA) or contralateral routing of sound hearing aids (CROS).
Occasionally patients develop additional challenges after treatment for acoustic neuroma, such as facial paralysis or imbalance. Consulting physicians in ophthalmology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, and rehabilitation medicine are available to help manage these issues.
In addition, many other experts may be part of your team, including:
- Oculoplastic surgeons for management of eye complications
- Physical therapists for balance problems
- Speech and swallowing experts
Bilateral acoustic neuroma is a sign of a rare inherited disorder called neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). We offer complete genetic testing and counseling to help determine your risk. As one of the nation’s top research institutions, MD Anderson is investigating new ways to treat acoustic neuroma, especially for patients with NF2.
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