Do not despair if you have been diagnosed with acoustic neuroma. It grows very slowly and can develop for 2-3 years,before it begins to manifest itself. For some people the tumor may always retain a small dimension and in this case the patient does not require any special treatment, but only needs to be examined regularly by a doctor.
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Acoustic(bilateral) neuroma is a benign tumor that develops in the auditory nerve, which is also called an acoustic nerve. The acoustic nerve is responsible for transmitting the acoustic information to the brain and it is located in the inner ear. The incidence rate of acoustic neuroma is two cases per 200,000 population. This tumor occupies 11 - 12% of all brain cancers. Generally the disease is more likely to appear among the individuals between 35 and 45 years. There has never been cases of acoustic neuroma among children and teenagers.
The cause of this condition is still unknown. Usually it appears absolutely suddenly without any gradual aggravation. Sometimes acoustic neuroma is a sign of neurofibroma, which is a genetic disease. Neurofibroma is an autosomal disorder of a dominant character. This implies that there is a genetic mutation in the chromosome, which can be passed from the parent to the child. If this mutated gene has been present in the system both parents, the child's likelihood to develop the disease is 50%.
There are three stages of this condition.
Stage first - tumor size does not exceed 1.9 - 2.7 cm. Usually the patient loses hearing in one ear.
Stage second - the tumor has the size dimension of a walnut. Symptoms at this stage are more pronounced. Due to the pressure on the stem of the brain the patient experiences impaired balance and coordination of movements.
Stage third - the size of the tumor reaches the size dimension of an egg.