Meningioma (patient information)
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Meningioma On the Web
Meningiomas are the most common benign tumors of the brain (95% of benign tumors), although some may be malignant. It arises from the meninges which surround the brain and spinal cord. A small meningioma causes no significant signs. With the enlargement of the tumor, patients may present with symptoms like changes in vision, for example seeing double or blurriness, headache, hearing loss/tinnitus, memory loss, etc. A meningioma doesn't always require immediate treatment as asymptomatic patients can be managed conservatively. Treatment for symptomatic meningiomas include surgery, radiation, and a combination of both.
What are the Symptoms of Meningioma?
Early meningioma does not have any symptoms. As the lump grows larger, people may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- Changes in vision, such as seeing double or blurriness
- Memory loss
- Weakness in the arms or legs
- Neurological deficits
- Behavioral changes
- Loss of the sense of smell
Other health problems may also cause these symptoms. Only a doctor can tell for sure. A person with any of these symptoms should visit the doctor so that the problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
What Causes Meningioma?
At the moment, there are no exact causes of meningioma.
Who is at Highest Risk?
Clinical data has suggested that the development of meningioma is related to several factors.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MRI uses magnetic fields but it is a different type of image than what is produced by computed tomography (CT) and produces detailed images of the body. Like computed tomography (CT), a contrast agent may be injected into a patient’s vein to create a better picture. It is a very valuable test for meningioma.
When to Seek Urgent Medical Care?
A meningioma doesn't always require immediate treatment. And a small, slow-growing meningioma without any signs or symptoms may not require treatment. But call your health care provider if symptoms of meningioma developes.
Patients with meningioma have many treatment options. The options are surgery, radiation therapy, and a combination of both. Before treatment starts, ask your health care team about possible side effects and how treatment may change your normal activities. Side effects may not be the same for each person, and they may change from one treatment session to the next.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy is recommended if your meningioma can't be completely removed. The aim is to destroy any remaining meningioma cells and reduce the opportunity to recur. And a specific type of radiation treatment is called radiosurgery, which aims several beams of powerful radiation at a very precise point. Radiosurgery can be selected for people whose meningiomas can not be removed with conventional surgery or whose meningiomas recur.
Where to find medical care for Meningioma?
Prevention of Meningioma
There are no methods established for the prevention of meningioma.
What to Expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?
The prognosis of meningioma depends on the extent of the resection during surgery and the histological grade of the tumor. A poorer survival rate may be seen in patients of advanced age, male patients, black race, malignant tumors, and patients with no initial treatment.