Meningiomas- what are they?
Updated: Mar 15
A meningioma is a tumour that arises from the meninges, which is a thin membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Meningiomas can occur in the spine, however they are more common in the brain. Almost all meningiomas are benign or non-cancerous, however they are still dangerous as they put the brain under additional pressure. They are the most common type of brain tumours, most commonly found in women as they get older.
Symptoms are usually subtle at first, but begin to get worst as the tumour grows. Depending on the location of the meningioma, the symptoms will vary, however these are some of the more common symptoms that patients present with:
Seeing double or having blurred vision
Headaches that worsen with time and do not go away
Loss of hearing or ringing in the ears
Loss of smell
Weakness in your arms or legs
A meningioma is diagnosed through an MRI scan. The treatment option that you are offered will differ depending on different factors, such as
The size and location of your meningioma
The rate of growth or aggressiveness of the tumour
Your age and overall health
Your goals for treatment
If the tumour is causing significant symptoms then you may be put forward for surgery to remove all or most of the tumour. Your surgeon will work to remove the meningioma however, the degree of safe resection will depend on the location of the tumour; your surgeon will discuss this with you beforehand.
Recovery from surgery can take several weeks to return to normal however patients are usually up and out of bed the day after surgery. Often, because meningiomas are non-cancerous the chance of recurrence is low. That said it is usual for consultants to continue to follow up their patients for several years following the surgery to make sure the tumour has not returned.
This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.