This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.View Full Document
Unformatted text preview: Information sheet 8: Meningioma A meningioma is a tumour of the meninges which is the name given to the protective lining of the brain and spinal cord. It can occur in any part of the brain or spinal cord but the commonest sites are at the surface of the brain, either over the top or at the skull base. Meningiomas are almost always benign and do not spread. Malignant (cancerous) meningiomas are extremely rare. It is also possible, but rare to have more than one meningioma. How often do meningiomas occur? This is a rare condition. Meningiomas generally do not occur often, they affect around 1 per 38,000 people. However, they are one of the most common brain tumours, making up nearly 20% of all primary brain tumours. Their incidence increases with age, and they affect women more often than men. They are most commonly found in middle-aged or elderly women. The majority of meningiomas (over 90%) are benign, but they still may recur after apparently complete surgical resection. Atypical and malignant meningiomas are more likely to recur. What causes meningioma? Like most brain tumours the cause of meningioma is unknown. In some people there may be an underlying genetic abnormality such as a mutation in a specific gene. Recent research has also shown a possible link between meningioma and hormone levels. Meningiomas frequently possess progesterone receptors and, less commonly, oestrogen receptors, which may explain their higher incidence in women. What are the symptoms? These can vary greatly, dependent on where the tumour is. Symptoms are caused by brain displacement or compression, not by invasion. However, these tumours can be so slow growing that they may go undetected for years. They can grow in and around cranial nerves that control function so that eyesight, taste, smell, sensation (numbness), swallowing or other movement may be affected. They may cause fits or muscle weakness. Sometimes sudden unexplained may be affected....
View Full Document
- Spring '09
- Oncology, Brain tumor, meningiomas, Meningioma