Meningioma is common type of dilatory growing, generally benign brain tumor that arises from the dura, one of the meninges, the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. A meningioma can begin in any part of the brain or spinal cord, but the most common sites are the cerebral hemispheres of the brain, made up of the four lobes. It is the only brain tumor that is more common in women than men. Meningiomas make up nearly 1 in 5 of all primary brain tumors. Meningiomas generally do not occur often, they affect around 1 per 38,000 people. It tends to occur between 40 and 60 but can occur at any age.
Meningiomas may be multiple. Very rarely do they become malignant. Meningiomas are very rare in children, with pediatric cases accounting for only 1.5% of the total. In rare cases, meningiomas occur in an intraventricular or intraosseous location. The problem of classifying meningioma is that arachnoidal cells may express both mesenchymal and epithelial characteristics. Other mesodermal structures also may give rise to similar tumors. The classification of all of these tumors together is controversial. The current trend is to separate unequivocal meningiomas from other less well-defined neoplasms.
Meningiomas are more prevalent in Africa than in North America or Europe. The symptoms depend on the location of the tumor. Symptoms are caused by brain displacement or compression, not by invasion. However, these tumours can be so sluggish growing that they may go concealed 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 and/or recurrent severe headaches (which may be accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting) are the first symptom.
The treatment for meningioma depends on a number of things, involving your general health and the size and position of the tumour. Radiotherapy treatment is the employ of high-energy rays to kill the cancer cells. It may be used after surgery for malignant meningioma to decrease the chance of the tumour coming back. Steroid medications to help diminish the inflammation and swelling around the tumour. Surgery the aim is to remove the tumour, or at least all parts that are safe to remove. Antiepileptic drugs should be started preoperatively in supratentorial surgery and continued postoperatively for no less than 3 months.