A meningioma is a tumor of the protective lining of the brain and spinal cord. This lining is called the meninges. Most meningiomas are benign (noncancerous), though some may be malignant (cancerous). Benign meningiomas are generally slow growing. This type of tumor may not cause problems. But, if the meningioma grows, it can compress important parts of the brain or cause symptoms (eg, vision problems, seizures).
Malignant meningiomas (also called aggressive or anaplastic) are less common. These tumors are faster growing. They often cause problems and can cause some swelling in the brain. Often both benign and malignant meningiomas require some form of therapy, surgery, and/or radiotherapy depending upon location.
Having received radiation to the face as a child (for
, warts, or fungal infections)
Symptoms of meningioma are usually related to the area of the brain that is affected. Often the symptoms are caused by increased pressure within the skull, from blockage or inflammation. Symptoms may include:
Treatment will depend on whether the tumor is malignant or benign, the size and position of the tumor, as well as your general health. The main types of treatment for meningiomas are:
Surgery may be recommended if the tumor is located in an area of the brain that is accessible to surgery. Most surgeries can be performed without causing neurologic damage.
In some instances, prior to surgery, a catheter may be inserted into blood vessels supplying the meningioma in order to disrupt the flow of blood to the tumor, causing it to shrink and making it easier to remove surgically.
is used either on its own or after surgery has been performed. If the tumor is not located in an area of the brain where surgery can be safely done, and the tumor is causing problems, radiation therapy is an effective way of treating the tumor and stopping its growth. If the tumor is malignant, radiation is generally always offered. In this case, radiation may be given either on its own or after surgery to help prevent the tumor from coming back.
Your radiation oncologist will describe how the therapy is delivered and how many treatments are needed. You may receive 25-40 treatments on a daily basis, or far fewer treatments if you are having stereotactic radiotherapy (surgery).
is used only in the treatment of malignant meningiomas. Different medications are available and are generally used in conjunction with surgery and radiation therapy. Your oncologist will discuss the options and choice of medications.
There are no guidelines for the prevention of meningiomas.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a