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Schwannoma in right arm down near elbow

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I recently saw a surgeon who diagnosed what would seem to be a schwannoma in my right arm down near the elbow (it is not attached to the skin and is in a fixed position). Because I have had it for at least five years and it doesn't seem to have changed size (it is small, firm and round--maybe about 5 millimeters), she told me it must be benign. Also because when she pressed on it I could feel nerve response down my arm she said I shouldn't have it removed because I can damage feeling in the arm. My question is simply looking for a second opinion. Do you agree with the assessment of benignity based on the fact that it is the size it is and has been after 5 years and has not caused any discomfort? Would it look/feel/be considerably different if it did happen to be malignant?

Category: Internal Medicine Specialist

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Category: Family Physician-GP
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Expert:  Dr. John Fuller replied 4 Days.


Thank you for the consult:

Yes, the swelling appears to be benign. The features you have mentioned are typical of a non-malignant swelling. But unless confirmed by a biopsy, a diagnosis of  “Peripheral Nerve tumour “is more fitting than Schwannoma. Schwannoma is one among the many peripheral nerve tumours. Majority of the schwannomas are benign for the record.

If you wish for a definitive diagnosis a MRI and Biopsy can help. But again a small unchanged swelling for years can be left alone. You can observe for any increase in size of the swelling, Also in case if you develop any neurological symptoms like persisting tingling sensation, weakness in the fingers, or loss of sensation over the arms you will need to consult a Surgeon for further evaluation

Hope this helps

Dr. John Fuller
Category: Family Physician-GP
MD - New York Institute of Technology, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine
Internship, Family Medicine - Lutheran Medical Center
Residency, Family Medicine - The Mount Sinai Hospital
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