Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is meningioma genetic?"
My dad now has it, so what are the chances I will get it some day? Should I be screened for it?
Before we get into the answers to your questions, we should discuss what meningiomas are as there is a stigma associated with these mostly benign brain and spine tumors. Meningiomas are benign growths that arise from a certain cell type of the covering of the brain known as arachnoid cap cells. These are often found incidentally, and can be seen quite often at autopsy in patients that were asymptomatic from these lesions. The main reason for treatment of these lesions is when there is mass effect which is causing compression of adjacent neural structures. As these lie anywhere along the covering of the brain and spinal cord, these can cause compression of very important neural structures. Fortunately, because they are very slow growing, the brain is able to accommodate these slow growing masses for quite some time before surgical intervention is required. In response to your question, there have been shown to deletions within certain chromosomes in patients that are at higher risk for developing meningiomas. One such deletion is in the chromosome 22. usually, screening for meningiomas is not necessary, but it is important that you discuss this with your primary care doctor who can better evaluate your medical history and presenting symptoms.
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