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 of a Meningioma

Symptoms are caused by increased pressure within the skull, from blockage or inflammation. Symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Visual problems
  • Changes in behavior
  • Seizures
  • Pain
  • 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)

Diagnosing a Meningioma

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.

Treating a Meningioma

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