June 8, 2007

The Acoustic Neuroma Association (ANA) has launched a new medical Web site listing for newly diagnosed and current acoustic neuroma patients. ANA is a non-profit organization with the mission to inform, educate, and provide national and local support networks for those affected by acoustic neuromas, and to be an essential resource for health care professionals who treat the condition.

An acoustic neuroma (sometimes termed a vestibular schwannoma) is a benign brain tumor on the eighth cranial nerve, which leads from the brain to the inner ear. Typical symptoms include hearing loss, balance issues, tinnitus and a feeling of fullness in the ear. The most common forms of treatment are surgery, radiation, or “watch and wait.”

ANA, founded by a treated patient, Virginia Fickel Ehr, has been a source of information and support for acoustic neuroma patients for over 25 years, and oversees over 50 local support groups around the country. ANA’s 18th National Symposium in Philadelphia is slated for July 13-15, 2007 at The Doubletree Hotel Philadelphia.

“The new medical Web site listing is designed to provide up-to-date information regarding the most important question for a new patient: Where do I find a qualified physician?" says ANA Executive Director Judy Vitucci,  “Although this is a rare type of tumor, recent studies show that acoustic neuroma diagnoses are increasing, and most patients are between the ages of 30 and 60."

The new Web site medical listing at www.ANAUSA.org is designed to provide patients with a tool to help them find qualified medical professionals across the country. It also provides information on the various types of treatment. Additionally Web site users can fill in the “contact us” information, and ANA will send them a packet of information with referrals of former patients who can provide support.

ANA strongly urges patients, families or anyone seeking information or treatment for an acoustic neuroma to consider consultation with physicians who have had substantial experience in treating this condition. The physicians or organizations listed have self-reported data to meet criteria established by the ANA for having substantial experience in treating acoustic neuromas. The physicians have paid an administrative fee to be listed, and the listings should not in any way be construed as an endorsement or recommendation by the ANA. It is every individual’s responsibility to verify the qualifications, education and experience of any healthcare professional. ANA advises that all treatment choices, including “watch and wait” have consequences. ANA recommends those patients, families or anyone seeking treatment to carefully weigh treatment options and make a well-informed decision after careful consideration of risks, consequences, complications, and potential outcomes.

ANA is a 501(c) (3) organization serving a membership of over 5,000 acoustic neuroma patients, family members and health care professionals providing information regarding all treatment options.

For more information, visit listing www.ANAUSA.org

Source: ANA