A meningioma is a tumor in the protective lining of the brain or spinal cord. Most meningiomas are benign and slow growing. The exact cause of meningiomas is unknown.
When you call The Ben & Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment for a consultation, we make it a point to see you as soon as possible – within 24 hours if necessary. Surgeries to remove tumors are often done within a week of consultations, and pre-operative procedures can be done the same day as a consultation.
Symptoms are caused by increased pressure within the skull, from blockage or inflammation. Symptoms may include:
- Visual problems
- Changes in behavior
- Loss of sensation or weakness in the arms and legs
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Slurred speech (if the tumor is on the left side of the brain)
- Loss of coordination and memory loss (if the tumor is in the temporal lobe)
- Difficulty writing (if the tumor is in the parietal lobe)
Meningiomas are typically found through one of two imaging tests:
- MRI scan — a test that uses contrast dye and magnetic waves to make pictures of the inside of the body, in this case the head
- CT scan — a type of X-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of the inside of the body, in this case the head
A biopsy reveals whether the tumor is benign or malignant.
Treatment will depend on the size and position of the tumor and whether it is benign or malignant, and may include some combination of:
- Surgery to remove the tumor, which can typically be performed without causing neurologic damage
- Embolization, where a catheter is inserted into blood vessels supplying the tumor to disrupt the flow of blood, causing it to shrink and making it easier to remove
- Radiation therapy to treat the tumor and stop its growth
- Chemotherapy, generally used in conjunction with surgery and radiation therapy
The Ben & Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment is built around a multidisciplinary, specialized team of neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, neuroradiologists, radiation oncologists, nurses and social workers focused on treating benign and malignant tumors. Located in Seattle, the Ivy Center draws patients from all over the world.
Ben and Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment550 17th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
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