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Understanding Meningioma: Types, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Meningioma is the most common type of brain tumor. It develops in the meninges, the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.


What is Meningioma?

Meningioma is the most common type of brain tumor. It develops in the meninges, the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. While the majority of meningiomas are noncancerous (benign), they can sometimes behave aggressively or become malignant. This complex condition requires a deep understanding, especially for those who might be affected by it or wish to help someone who is.

Types of Meningioma

There are several different types of meningiomas that are classified based on the cells they originate from and their traits. These include:

Convexity and Parasagittal Meningiomas

Located in the area of the brain known as the "convexity" – which is near the top of the head – or adjacent to the sagittal sinus, these meningiomas can vary in size and aggressiveness.

Olfactory Groove Meningiomas

These grow in the base of the brain behind the eyes and can sometimes be confused with meningiomas.

Sphenoid Wing Meningiomas

These are found on the sphenoid wing, a bony ridge in the skull.

Cerebellar Meningiomas

These are located within or around the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls voluntary movements and balance.

Petroclival Meningiomas

Developing at the base of the skull, near the petrous and clival bones, this type can be challenging to treat due to its location.

Spinal Meningiomas

Although less common, some meningiomas develop on the spinal cord's meninges.

Causes of Meningioma

The exact cause of meningioma is not known, but several factors have been identified as potential contributors, including:

Genetic Factors

There is evidence to suggest that genetic syndromes like neurofibromatosis 2 and Li-Fraumeni syndrome may increase the risk of developing a meningioma.

Hormonal Imbalances

There is a noted increase in the incidence of meningiomas during circumstances that involve hormonal changes, such as pregnancy or the use of hormone replacement therapy.

Exposure to Radiation

Previous high-dose radiation exposure, such as during cancer treatment, can raise the risk of developing meningiomas later in life.

Cellular Alterations

Changes within the genetic structure of cells can sometimes lead to uncontrolled cell growth, resulting in a tumor.

Recognizing Meningioma Symptoms

The symptoms of meningioma can vary greatly depending on the tumor's size, location, and the rate of growth. Some common symptoms include:


Frequently the first and most common sign, especially in the case of a slow-growing tumor.


Occur when the tumor affects the electrical signaling within the brain.

Changes in Vision

Including partial or complete loss of vision, double vision, and eye bulging.

Speech and Language Problems

Can manifest as difficulty speaking, finding the right words, or understanding language.

Weakness or Numbness in Extremities

Resulting from the tumor pressing on the brain or spinal cord.

Hearing Problems

Including deafness in one or both ears, ringing in the ears, or loss of balance.

Diagnosis and Staging of Meningiomas

In order to accurately diagnose a meningioma, a physician will use a combination of tests, which may include:

MRI or CT Scans

These imaging tests will help identify the location and size of the tumor.


This test allows the doctor to see the blood vessels in and around the tumor, which can help with surgical planning.


A small sample of the tumor may be collected and examined under a microscope to determine its type and aggressiveness.

Once diagnosed, the meningioma will be staged to determine the severity and spread of the tumor, which will help guide treatment decisions.

Meningioma Treatment Options

The main approaches to treating meningioma include:


For small, slow-growing meningiomas that do not cause symptoms, the doctor may recommend regular monitoring without immediate treatment.


For meningiomas that are causing symptoms or are at risk of becoming dangerous, surgical removal is typically the preferred treatment option.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation may be used before or after surgery, or as a standalone treatment for tumors that are difficult to reach with surgery.


While not often used, chemotherapy drugs may be prescribed if the meningioma is aggressive or has come back after treatment.

The choice of treatment depends on various factors, including the tumor's location, type, size, and the patient's overall health.

Living with Meningioma

Coping with a diagnosis of meningioma can be challenging for both the patient and their loved ones. It's important to seek out support and information to help manage the condition and the impact it has on everyday life. This might include joining a support group, talking to a counselor, or engaging in activities that bring a sense of normalcy and calm.

For individuals living with meningioma, establishing a close relationship with healthcare providers and actively participating in the treatment decision process is vital. Taking an active role in your health and understanding the different aspects of the condition contribute significantly to a patient's overall well-being and recovery process.


Immunotherapy is being studied as a potential treatment for meningiomas, harnessing the body's immune system to fight cancer cells.

Targeted Drug Therapies

Clinical trials are looking at drugs that are designed to target specific cellular changes associated with meningiomas.

Enhanced Surgical Techniques

New approaches and technologies are continually being developed to make meningioma surgeries more precise and less invasive, leading to quicker recovery times.

Participating in clinical trials is a personal decision that should be made with the help of a healthcare team, weighing the potential benefits against the risks and commitments involved.


Meningiomas are a formidable adversary to the health and well-being of those who are affected by them. Yet, with advances in medical research and an increased understanding of the condition, there is great hope for improved outcomes and quality of life for patients. For brain tumor cancer treatment in India, American Oncology Institute is recognized as the top multi-disciplinary oncology hospital known for its expertise and advanced care.