What is a meningioma?

A meningioma is a type of tumor that grows in the meninges which are layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord. Even though it is referred to as a brain tumor, meningioma is technically not a brain tumor, because it does not arise from brain tissue. Meningioma is usually non-cancerous—or benign—which means these tumors do not tend to spread to distant parts of the body. Because of their location, meningiomas can still cause neurological problems. As the tumors grow, they can compress the brain and spinal cord, which creates serious meningioma symptoms.

What causes a meningioma?

Like many tumors, the exact cause of meningiomas is unknown. Hormonal fluctuations may encourage the growth of these tumors, but more research is needed to confirm this.

Meningiomas usually grow slowly, and you may show any symptoms until the tumor has become large. Depending on where the tumor is growing, it can cause different meningioma symptoms that can include:

  • Vision or hearing loss
  • Seizures
  • Trouble thinking clearly
  • Trouble walking
  • Loss of smell
  • Weakness in an arm or leg
  • Headache
  • Nausea

What are some meningioma treatments?

Meningioma treatment options include:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation
  • Medications