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Neurofibrosarcoma and Schwannoma

How Are Schwannomas and Neurofibrosarcomas Treated?

The most common treatment for schwannomas and neurofibrosarcomas is to remove them with surgery. Radiation therapy is often used after surgery to help decrease the risk of recurrence. However, surgery can be difficult if the tumor is very close to or surrounding an important nerve, because the surgeon could damage the nerve while trying to remove the tumor. When a schwannoma can't be removed, high-dose radiation therapy may be used to target the tumor.

With neurofibrosarcomas, the doctor will remove the tumor and the tissue around it. Surgeons will try to remove the tumor without damaging too much of the affected arm or leg (called limb-salvage or limb-sparing surgery), but if the tumor can't be removed, the arm or leg might need to be amputated. Radiation and chemotherapy may be done before surgery to shrink the tumor so it can be removed more easily, or after surgery to kill any cancer cells that are left behind.

Schwannomas usually don't come back if they are removed completely. The prognosis after treatment for neurofibrosarcoma depends on the size of the tumor, where it is located, and how far it has spread. Long-term survival can vary from person to person. It's possible for the cancer to return, even after aggressive treatment.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Arnold Wax, MD on August 03, 2012

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