Surgery is the mainstay in the treatment of malignant nerve sheath tumor, as it involves the removal of tumor that compresses the nerves and generating various symptoms. Surgery is also accompanied by chemotherapy as well as radiation therapy.
What Is The Best Medicine For Nerve Sheath Tumor?
The best approach for the treatment of malignant nerve sheath tumor is the surgical intervention and not some medicines as medications cannot treat nerve sheath tumor. The tumors present inside the nerves and chemotherapy is less effective in such cases. The surgery is designed to completely remove the tumor and for this, the radiation therapy is used as an adjuvant to reduce the size of tumor. Various risks are associated with the surgery and depend upon the type of tumor which has to undergo a surgery. The risk includes the destruction of nerves and completes loss of nerve function resulting in paralysis. However, care should be taken during surgery and in most of the cases nerve repair is also done during the surgery to preserve the functioning of nerve.
Various nerve sheath tumor that requires surgery includes Schwannomas, Neurofibromas and Nerve sheath tumors. Schwannomas are generally having lower surgical side effects as they are on the surface of the nerves unlike neurofibromas where the tumor grows inside the nerve cells. Chemotherapy is also an option and various chemotherapeutic agents are used for the treatment of nerve sheath tumor. The drugs include doxorubicin, doxorubicin-ifosfamide, etoposide, and cisplatin. The treatment applied depends upon a variety of factors including the age of the patient, size and location of tumor and the stage at which the tumor is diagnosed.
Nerve Sheath Tumor Treatment
Treatment of the nerve sheath tumor depends upon the stage at which the tumor is diagnosed and the extent of the disease i.e. whether it is metastasized or not. More early the disease is diagnosed, much easier it is to control, and less aggressive therapy is required. Further, the treatment is not only directed to control and treat the disease, rather also includes the approach for rehabilitation of patients that have lost mobility and function due to nerve damage. Following are the treatment options available to the oncologist, which through rationale judgment, opts the combined approach.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the primary therapy for the patients suffering from nerve sheath tumor. Chemotherapy includes the administration of the drugs which are used to kill the rapidly dividing cells. To reduce the side effects and increase the efficacy, oncologists generally use the combination of different chemotherapeutic agents.
Surgery: In the nerve sheath tumor, surgery is also main treatment depending upon the location and size of tumor. The primary goal of the surgeon is to remove the entire tumor. Surgery is generally combined with radiation therapy to reduce the size of the tumor and remove it effectively.
Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is the use of radiation to kill the cancer cells. Along with the surgery, it is used prior to surgery for reducing the size of nerve sheath tumor and post-surgery to kill the cells remained after surgery.
Recovery: The nerve sheath tumor is different from other types of tumor in the way that it may cause permanent loss of function of various organs as it involves the destruction and removal of some nerves. Thus, after the treatment, recovery of loss of function is also vital.
Nerve Sheath Tumor Risks
Various factors increase the risk of developing malignant nerve sheath tumor. These factors are as follows:
Genetic Factor: Neurofibromatosis, which is an inherited condition, increases the risk of development of nerve sheath tumor.
Radiation Therapy: If the patient has undergone a radiation therapy for any other type of cancer, the risk of developing nerve sheath tumor increases.
Benign Nerve Sheath Tumor: Benign nerve sheath tumor may also develop in to malignant tumor.
The treatment of the malignant nerve sheath tumor depends upon the stage of the disease, and the location and size of tumor. Surgery is used in most of the cases, which followed by nerve repair if required. The combination of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery is also used as and when required.