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Meningiomas

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Meningiomas are one of the most common types of benign brain tumors (tumors that start in the brain). In fact, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons estimates that meningiomas account for 30 percent of all primary brain and other central nervous system (CNS) tumors.

What are meningiomas?

Meningiomas are brain tumors that grow from the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord. The vast majority (90 percent) are noncancerous, or benign, but even benign tumors can become large enough to compress brain tissue and become disabling or life threatening. Meningiomas are categorized into three grades: grade I (benign), grade II (atypical) and grade III (malignant, or anaplastic). Typically, the lower the grade, the slower the tumors grow and the lower the chance of recurrence.

Who develops meningiomas?

These brain tumors usually occur in middle age and are twice as common in women as in men, leading some experts to believe that female hormones may play a role in tumor development. On the flip side, men are more likely to develop cancerous meningiomas. People who’ve had radiation therapy to the head, as well as those with the rare disorder called neurofibromatosis type 2, face a higher risk of developing meningiomas.

What are the symptoms of meningiomas?

Many meningiomas do not cause symptoms and are often found as part of a work-up for other reasons. Furthermore, when meningiomas cause symptoms, these are a result of tumor size, growth rate, and location on the brain. As a result, people with meningiomas may experience:

  • vision problems
  • worsening headaches
  • hearing loss
  • memory loss
  • seizures
  • arm or leg weakness
  • nausea and vomiting

How are meningiomas diagnosed?

Imaging tests such as computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can pick up meningiomas.

How are meningiomas treated?

Your physician can help map out an appropriate treatment plan, which will depend on the size, location and aggressiveness of the tumor. Options may include surveillance, or a “wait-and-see” approach disorder called neurofibromatosis type 2, face a higher risk of developing meningiomas.

How are meningiomas treated?

Your physician can help map out an appropriate treatment plan, which will depend on the size, location and aggressiveness of the tumor. Options may include surveillance, or a “wait-and-see” approach (particularly for slow-growing tumors with no symptoms), surgery and radiation therapy, such as Gamma Knife treatment, and certain medications.

For more information about treatment for meningiomas or to set up a consultation, call The Gamma Knife Center at The Valley Hospital at 201-634-5677 or complete the contact form. Learn more about the Valley Gamma Knife Center on our website.

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