Meningioma is a tumor that forms in the meninges around the brain and rarely in the region of the spinal cord. The tumor usually grows slowly and in 90 percent of the cases, it is benign i.e. non-cancerous. Malignant meningioma is rare.
Meningioma can occur between 30 and 70 years of age. Middle-aged women are more likely to develop meningioma than men, and it is very rare in children.
Causes of meningioma
There are no known causes of meningioma, but there are factors that may lead to meningioma:
- Exposure to radiation
- Neurofibromatosis type 2 (genetic disorder)
- Any previous injury
- Skull fractures
Symptoms of meningioma
Meningioma symptoms are not apparent immediately as the tumor exhibits slow growth. Common symptoms of meningioma include:
- Blurred vision
- Weakness in arms or legs
- Speech problems
If there is a sudden onset of seizures, loss of vision or memory or frequent headaches, it is better to seek medical consultation.
Diagnosis of meningioma
If meningioma is suspected, the doctor will conduct the following tests or examinations:
- CT scan of the brain and head
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will also be conducted for a detailed image to detect the tumor
- Biopsy may be performed to remove the tumor to determine whether it is benign or malignant
Treatment of meningioma
Meningioma treatment may depend on different factors like the size of the tumor, overall health and the existing symptoms due to it. Treatment may not be necessary in every case. Wait-and-watch is usually the first approach. Doctors may conduct periodic scans to evaluate any symptoms of meningioma. If the tumor is detected, then the doctor may recommend surgery. In case, small parts of this tumor still persist, then radiation therapy or radiosurgery may be suggested.
If the tumors are too large or malignant, then, fractionated radiation may also be one of the treatments recommended by doctors. In some cases, medication has also proven to be successful.