A meningioma is a type of tumor that grows in the meninges, which are layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord. Technically, a meningioma is not a brain tumor because it does not arise from brain tissue. But, it's often referred to as a brain tumor.
These tumors are usually non-cancerous (benign). This means that unlike cancerous tumors, they don't tend to spread to distant parts of the body. Because of their location, though, meningiomas can still cause neurological problems. As these tumors grow, they can compress the brain and spinal cord, leading to serious symptoms.
Meningiomas are the most common type of brain tumors in adults and occur more often than cancerous brain tumors. They're more common in women and usually develop in the 40s or 50s. Children rarely get meningiomas.
- A meningioma is a type of tumor grows in the meninges, which are layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord. These tumors are usually not cancerous (benign), but they can still grow and press on the brain, which can lead to serious symptoms.
- Symptoms depend on where the tumor is and can include headache, nausea, vision or hearing loss, seizures, trouble thinking, loss of coordination, or weakness in an arm or leg.
- Not all meningiomas need to be treated right away. If treatment is needed, surgery is usually the first option if it can be done. Radiation therapy can also be used, either alone or along with surgery.
Meningiomas often come to light because of symptoms a person is having. To diagnose meningiomas, these tests may be done:
- Neurological exam. Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and may do a neurological exam to look for changes in motor and sensory function, vision, coordination, balance, mental status, and in mood or behavior.
- Imaging. Your healthcare provider may diagnose a meningioma using an MRI or CT scan to get a picture of the brain and nearby structures.
- Biopsy. In addition, your provider may want to remove a sample of the tumor to examine it under a microscope before making the diagnosis.