A meningioma is a slowly growing type of brain tumor located in the linings of the brain and spinal cord, known as the meninges. Sometimes these tumors are located on peripheral areas of the nervous system. Usually, meningiomas are benign, but they can be malignant. Many times they are difficult to remove due to their sensitive location. Meningiomas make up about 25 percent of all brain tumors. The cause of these tumors is not completely known, however, the risk is higher for persons who have had any radiation treatment on the scalp area.
Symptoms for meningioma tumors can vary widely, depending on where the tumor is located and which area of tissue it is pressing upon. The symptoms can affect behavior, sight, coordination, hearing or memory and cognitive functions. Seizures, spasticity or incontinence may occur.
Besides reviewing symptoms, a neurologist will perform a neurological examination. To definitively diagnose a meningioma, imaging tests will be done, which normally include magnetic resonance imaging and computerized tomography. If the tumor is removed or partially removed, a biopsy will be performed and the tissue studied by a neuropathologist to further identify the type of tumor.
Treatment for meningioma is dependent on the patient’s general overall health and the location of the tumor. Many times, steroid medication is needed to reduce brain tissue inflammation. If there is fluid on the brain, a shunt may be placed to drain the fluid down to the abdomen where it can be absorbed. Get the Best from New Jersey’s Top Spine Surgeon as they provide you with the best possible treatment and guidelines for the complete process. You can take your time and consult these experienced doctors about your problems as well.
Whenever possible, it is preferable to remove the meningioma surgically. When the tumor is not operable, stereotactic radiosurgery may be attempted. This approach aims a beam of radiation directly at the tumor in order to shrink the tumor and kill any cancer cells.
When neither of these options is practical, external beam radiotherapy can be tried. In this therapy, the radiation is delivered in smaller doses. However, it is not as accurate as radiosurgery and carries a risk of damaging healthy tissue in the area surrounding the tumor.
Chemotherapy is a last resort in the treatment of meningioma because it has shown to be the least effective for this type of tumor.
In some cases of meningioma, the tumor exhibits no symptoms and is only discovered during a scan associated with some other condition. In such cases, continuing to perform routine checks and scans to be sure the tumor is not becoming invasive is the only necessary course.
Research on causes and therapies in the field of brain cancer and specifically meningioma, as well as an experimental treatment, is continuing. Survival and cure rates are growing. It is hoped that meningioma and other brain cancers can become preventable in our lifetime.