The face nerve regulates the face’s muscle function. Every individual has a nerve right and left. From the brain to the muscles, the facial nerve is very long and complex. In some cases, tumors may affect the facial nerve. This can be caused either by tumors produced in the nerve or by tumors pressing into or invading the nerve from nearby sites and in both instances facial weakness and paralysis may occur.
There are rare tumors directly caused by the facial nerve. Next to the facial nerve can begin many kinds of tumors that can involve the nerve. The nerve may be affected by both benign and malignant tumors. For facial nerve cancer, diagnosis often occurs after work starts due to facial weakness or paralysis symptoms. Sometimes facial weakness is not the first symptom, but hearing loss, balance, and pain. In cases of a tumor near the nerve, depending upon the type of tumor, place and other structures involved there may be a variety of other symptoms. Imagings are often ordered with either a CT or MRI.
To add on, treatment depends on the type of tumor if it is cancer or benign, the size, the place, other areas involved, and the overall health of the patient. If the facial nerve itself produces benign tumors such as schwannomas and hemangiomas, operation, stereotactic radiation and observation may be included. In determining treatment, in particular surgery, the level of facial weakness often plays a significant role. The face nerve must in most cases be cut to remove the tumor when surgery is performed.
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