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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Other Names for this Disease
  • Cellular schwannoma (histologic variant)
  • Melanotic schwannoma (histologic variant)
  • Neurilemoma
  • Neurinoma
  • Plexiform schwannoma (histologic variant)
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Your Question

I have a fairly large schwannoma / myxoma tumor in my right arm in the tricept. I would like to know if I'm likely to have other such tumors in other parts of my body.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Are schwannomas likely to recur or occur in in other parts of the body?

The vast majority of schwannomas occur sporadically, and as a single tumor. Sporadic schwannomas affect people of all ages, reaching a peak between the ages of 20 and 50.[1]

Recurrence of a schwannoma is unlikely following the complete removal of the tumor.[2] A schwannoma coming back in the same place can mean that it may not have been completely removed the first time. This can be due to microscopic traces of it being left behind, which may be enough for it to grow into a new tumor.[3]

Schwannomas can be associated with certain types of neurofibromatosis, specifically neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) and schwannomatosis. When this is the case, multiple tumors may be present.[2] In individuals with NF2, the most common tumors are called vestibular schwannomas or acoustic neuromas. These growths develop along the nerve that carries information from the inner ear to the brain (the auditory nerve). Tumors that occur on nerves in other areas of the brain or spinal cord are also commonly seen with this condition.[4] In schwannomatosis, there can be multiple schwannomas of cranial, spinal or peripheral nerves, but there are no vestibular schwannomas as seen in NF2.[5] In both of these disorders, various other signs and symptoms are typically present.

Another condition in which schwannomas may occur is called Carney complex. Carney complex is a disorder characterized by an increased risk of several types of tumors; affected individuals also usually have changes in skin coloring (pigmentation). Individuals with Carney complex are at increased risk of developing benign tumors called myxomas in the heart (cardiac myxoma) and other parts of the body; tumors in hormone-producing (endocrine) glands, such as the adrenal glands; tumors of other endocrine tissues, including the thyroid, testes, and ovaries; and a rare tumor called psammomatous melanotic schwannoma.[6]

Last updated: 10/17/2012

References