What is Meningioma?

A Meningioma is a tumour that forms on the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord inside the skull. They arise from meninges, which are three thin layers of tissues covering the brain and the spinal cord. Three layers – Dura, Arachnoid and Pia – are present under the skull and protect the brain. Under meningioma, the tissue starts growing inwards and puts pressure on the brain and the spinal cord. They can also grow outward towards the skull causing it to thicken. It occurs most frequently in middle-aged women.

It is often slow growing and as many as 90% are non-cancerous. Most of the types of meningioma take place in the brain. However, most of them grow on parts of the spinal cord.


They usually grow slow and, therefore, may not cause obvious symptoms and are sometimes found during tests for other conditions. The basic symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Weakness in arm or leg
  • Seizures (fits)
  • Personality changes
  • Visual problems
  • Numbness


The causes of this disease are not actually clear, yet according to many careful studies by researchers, the following causes have been discovered.

  • Exposure to radiation of any kind
  • Neurofibromatosis type 2, a genetic disorder


The main risk factors for this disease are:

  • Inherited nervous system disorder
  • Radiation treatment
  • Female hormones


One can simply prevent the occurrence of this disease by:

  • Using anti-inflammatory agents, for example, NSAIDs.
  • Fair usage of mobile and other gadgets.
  • Maintaining your general brain health.

How is it diagnosed?

It’s rare for Meningioma to be diagnosed before they begin to cause any symptoms. The doctor will ask about the patient’s personal and family medical history and perform a complete medical exam...

How is it treated?

At Medanta, there are a variety of treatment options for meningioma. The treatment that is right for you will depend on your age, general health status, location and size. While deciding the particular course of treatment, the benefits of each opt..

  • Wait and Monitor Approach

    As meningioma grows slowly in most cases, patients with small meningioma with less or no symptoms should be scanned at regular intervals to see the growth pattern. Surgery can be avoided in case the tumour is not growing.

  • Surgery

    In most cases, if a tumour is causing symptoms, then surgery will be the most preferred option. Complete removal of the tumour is the main aim, as this allows the best chance for the least recurrence of the tumour, increased patient survival time and complete disappearance of symptoms.
    Although total removal is the best cure, it might not always be possible to perform the surgery because of the tumour location. If the tumour cannot be totally removed, radiation can help in further treatment. For the surgery, a craniotomy is performed (craniotomy is cut in the skull to expose the tumour). After the tumour is removed, brain tissue can re-expand in the cavity.

  • Radiation

    The main aim of radiation is to kill the cancer cells while minimising the damage to the surrounding brain cells. In this, the DNA of the cells is damaged so that they cannot divide and reproduce. It uses high-energy rays to destroy the cancer cells. Radiations are given in the following cases:

    • When surgery is not possible.
    • After surgery for small meningioma that cannot be completely removed.
    • Radiotherapies are given over a period of 5-7 weeks depending on the size of the tumour. They are tiring and the skin in the treated area can become red and itchy. Also, there is a loss of hair on the treated area.

  • Chemotherapy

    It is the use of anti-cancer drugs to destroy cancer cells. However, it is rarely used to treat meningioma.

When do I contact the doctor?

In general, the people that have this disease are at an increased risk for additional medical problems and reoccurrence of cancer or worsening of their symptoms. So, they need to follow up with the doctor at regular intervals.

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