If an acoustic neuroma comes back, does that mean it’s a cancer?

Usually not. Recurrence usually means some tumor was left behind and not removed from the first surgery. This can occur if a lot was left behind (macroscopic residual, recurrence more frequent), or even a tiny amount was left behind (microscopic residual, recurrence less frequent). Malignant acoustics are extremely rare and most often occur after prior radiation treatment for a benign acoustic neuroma.
Not usually. Acoustic neuroma may come back if incompletely removed or may grow following radiation, possibly requiring surgery to remove residual tumor.

Related Questions

My acoustic neuroma has come back. Is it possible that it could be cancer this time?

Unlikely. Did you have radiation therapy? Acoustic neuroma can come back with longer follow up, although short term local control rates are very high (98% at 5 yrs). If they do enlarge, most often they remain benign. Read more...
Rarely. If you had surgical removal and tumor persists or recurs, there is almost no chance it would be malignant. If it has grown after treatment with radiation, there is approximately a 1:1000 chance it could have malignant transformation. Read more...

Is an acoustic neuroma a kind of brain cancer?

No. Technically no. Not in the brain, and not cancer. But it often has to be removed through a craniotomy, like some types of brain cancer, and it grows very very close to the brainstem, in one of the hardest to reach areas of the skull base. It is very rare that an acoustic neuroma becomes malignant (cancer), and almost always this is after previous radiation treatment. Read more...
Yes. Acoustic neuroma is an encapsulated, benign nerve sheath tumor that primarily occurs in the cerebellopontine angle (a location in the brain). The usual site is the vestibular portion of the 8th cranial nerve. The earliest symptoms of an acoustic neuroma are tinnitus and unilateral, progressive hearing loss. Unsteadiness, not vertigo can also be a common symptom. Read more...

My mom had an acoustic neuroma a 36 and breast cancer at 54. Are these related?

No. Acoustic neuroma is fairly common and of course breast cancer is very common. The genetic pathways and genetic syndrome that give rise to these do not, to my knowledge, overlap -- and by now they are fairly well worked out. You're to be commended for your commitment to health, and you'll want to keep up self-exam and perhaps mammography to catch any breast cancers early. Read more...
No. I'm not aware of any association linking these two conditions. . Read more...

My mother had an acoustic neuroma at 35 and was diagnosed with breast cancer at 55. Could this be related to li fraumeni syndrome?

Yes it is possible. This is a very rare genetic disorder in which predisposed individuals develope canxer at a young age and then develope a second. The most common tumors involved are brain , breast, leukemias, sarcomas and adrenal carcinomas. Diagnosis requires specitic genetic testing. Read more...
Some other disease. This syndrome requires that the affected person meet 3 criteria - 1. Patient had sarcoma <45 yrs., 2. 1st deg relative had any cancer <45., 3. Another 1st or 2nd deg. Relative had any cancer <45, or sarcoma at any age. Unless you or your mother had a sarcoma before 45 or another relative, like an aunt/grandparent had anything, this is not likely. But you/your mom should still get worked up. Read more...

My doc says I've got acoustic neuroma. What does this mean?

See a neurotologist. Acoustic neuromas are benign rumors that may cause ringing in the ears, hearing loss, balance difficulties, or if extremely large, facial nerve weakness, or more serious trouble. Depending on their size, and your age they may be treated with observation, surgery or radiation. Read more...
8th CN tumor. An acoustic neuroma is a tumor of the eighth cranial nerve, the nerve that subserves hearing and balance. These tumors are usually nonmalignant. They can be associated with other conditions(neurofibromatosis), a thorough physical examination including a black lite exam is needed.Early surgical removal is advised as facial nerve function can be preserved. See my previous answer on acoustic neuroma. Read more...
See below . Not all acoustic neuromas need surgically removed. If they are small and hearing is good, they can be watched with repeat mris. In some cases, they can be radiated to stop them from growing and surgery avoided. Read more...