A meningioma is a tumor of the meninges (covering that surrounds brain and spinal cord). Up to 90% of meningiomas develop slowly and are benign. Furthermore, most people develop a single meningioma although it is possible for multiple tumors to develop at different locations. Treatment options vary depending on tumor location. Read on for more information on this topic.
Meningioma Risk Profile
People between the ages 40 to 70 are highly likely to develop meningiomas. Moreover, meningiomas are more common in females than males and very rare in children who account for only 1.5% of patients. In terms of tumor location, the male to female ratio of brain meningioma is 3:1 and 6:1 for spinal meningioma.
Medical experts have identified two meningioma predisposing factors. The first is exposure to radiation. Hiroshima atomic bomb blast survivors were more likely to develop these tumors compared to other Japanese. Secondly, genetic predisposition to neurofibromatosis type 2 increases one’s likelihood of developing meningioma.
1. Olfactory groove meningioma
Develops along nerves located between the nose and brain.
2. Convexity meningioma
Develops on the surface of the brain mostly at the front.
3. Intraventricular meningioma
Tend to develop in the connected chambers that circulate fluid through the central nervous system.
4. Falx and parasagittal meningioma
Develop in the brain groove that contains the sagittal sinus blood vessel.
5. Spinal meningioma
Develop in the thoracic spine.
6. Intraorbital meningioma
Develop around eye sockets causing eye pressure buildup.
7. Sphenoid meningioma
Develop behind the eyes.
8. Posterior fossa meningioma
Develop on the underside of the brain.
Besides evaluating one’s medical history, doctors use MRI and contrast enhanced CT scans to diagnose this type of tumor.
Indicators of Positive/Negative outcome
Firstly, age is a good indicator of a positive/negative outcome with young patients faring better after surgery than the old. Secondly, extent of tumor removal during surgery is a reliable indicator of expected outcome. The final indicator of positive/negative outcome is tumor location and accessibility.
Over the years, a meningioma classification with nine major subtypes has emerged as the most widely accepted among other classification systems. The World Health Organization also has developed a popular classification meningioma system.
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