Schwannomas are tumors that develop on a peripheral nerve. They can happen to anyone at any age, but people with genetic diseases are more likely to develop them. Schwannomas are benign but, on rare occasions, can develop into a malignancy. Symptoms greatly depend on the location of the growths. Because they usually grow slowly, it can take months or years for symptoms to develop, with some only discovered during tests for another purpose.


1. Definition

A schwannoma is a tumor that develops from Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system. Schwann cells wrap around the peripheral nerves, providing support and protection. They also help conduct nerve impulses. Schwannomas are usually benign, but in rare cases may become cancerous. If a schwannoma is malignant, it may be referred to as a soft tissue sarcoma. People who are otherwise healthy may develop schwannomas, or genetic disorders can cause them.

Nerve Cell Anatomy alex-mit / Getty Images

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