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Acoustic neuroma tumour. Gross specimen of the brain showing an acoustic neuroma. This is a benign (non-cancerous) tumour of the sheath of the vestibulocochlear nerve. This is the nerve that carries sound signals from the ear to the brain. Although the tumour is non-invasive and does not spread, its growth can put pressure on the acoustic nerve, leading to tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and deafness. It may also cause a loss of balance, as the ears are also the sites of the body's balance organs, the semi-circular canals. Surgical removal can treat the condition, but hearing is lost on the affected side.
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