Meningiomas are tumours that originate in the meninges, the outer layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord. They can be benign (noncancerous), malignant (cancerous and spreading to other parts of the body) or atypical (in between benign and malignant, but can turn cancerous).
The exact cause of a meningioma is unknown. Some of the risk factors can include previous radiation therapy to the head, female hormones and an inherited disorder known as neurofibromatosis type 2.
Meningiomas may lead to symptoms such as blurred or double vision, loss of smell, memory and hearing, headaches that get worse with time, seizures and weakness in your legs or arms. When you present to the clinic with these symptoms, your doctor reviews your medical history and diagnoses meningioma with imaging tests such as CT and MRI scans.
Treatment depends on the size, location and type of the tumour, and your overall health. Slow-growing, small and asymptomatic meningioma’s do not require immediate treatment, but need to be monitored constantly for signs of growth. Tumours that require treatment may be indicated for the following: