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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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A schwannoma is a tumor of the tissue that covers the nerves, called the nerve sheath. These tumors develop from a type of cell called a Schwann cell, which gives them their name. Schwannomas are often not cancerous (they are typically benign).[1] They can arise from any nerve in the body, although they most often develop in certain nerves located in the head and neck, along with nerves that are involved with flexing in the upper and lower extremities.[2] The most common symptoms of a schwannoma are painless or painful mass that is slow-growing, and electric-like shock when the affected area is felt (Tinel shock).[2] The cause of schwannomas is unknown, but they sometimes occur in individuals with certain disorders such as some types of neurofibromatosis.[2] Treatment may include surgery, radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy.[1]
Last updated: 7/5/2011


  1. What is schwannoma?. Cancer Research UK. January 21, 2010; Accessed 7/4/2011.
  2. Schwannoma (Neurilemoma). Children's Hospital Boston. 2011; Accessed 7/4/2011.
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