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The Dilemma: Surgery or Radiation for Acoustic Neuroma Brain Tumors?

Posted on: 05/27/2005

The Dilemma: Surgery or Radiation for Acoustic Neuroma Brain Tumors?

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Arnold Romanofski
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The Acoustic Neuroma Foundation cites instances where treatment of the acoustic neuroma brain tumor causes complications that severely affect patients' qualify of life. They urge the conduct of a definitive study that compares the effectiveness of surgery and radiotherapy.

/24-7PressRelease/ - Roseville, IL, May 27, 2005 - "I was diagnosed with a 3.5cm acoustic neuroma and had surgery .... My doctors severed my facial nerve during the operation... I am paralyzed on the left side of (my) face. I can't smile or lift my forehead," said one visitor at the Acoustic Neuroma Foundation (ANF),

"I had FSR (Fractionated Stereotactic Radiosurgery) ... for a 3.5 cm acoustic neuroma which was also very cystic. The acoustic neuroma darkened at first and also began to shrink. However ..... one of the larger cysts within the tumor began to grow and I am watching and waiting," said a another ANF visitor.

These comments are only a few of the many messages received by the Acoustic Neuroma Foundation from people who are disappointed with their treatment, said Mark O'Neil, ANF spokesman. "They further underscore why the neurosurgical world seems split between radiation and surgery as the best treatment for acoustic neuroma."

O'Neil said there are three basic treatment options for an acoustic neuroma, depending on the patient's age, health, tumor size and location. These are observation, microsurgical removal and radiation.

"Unfortunately, there are several cases where both treatments have produced complications that have severely affected patients' quality of life," said O'Neil as he noted the absence of a definitive study comparing surgery and radiotherapy.

"We urge medical researchers to undertake a randomized controlled study comparing the effectiveness of surgery and radiation therapy in treating acoustic neuroma," said O'Neal.

Complications that commonly occur in some patients are constant headaches and dizziness, hearing loss, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), facial distortion and paralysis, inability to shed tears, cerebrospinal leak through the nose and others.

Interested parties may visit the Acoustic Neuroma Foundation at, where many people afflicted or recovering from AN interact daily, exchange ideas and offer each other support.

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