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"Is meningioma typically benign?"


A friend age 29 just diagnosed with meningioma. What are her chances?


A meningioma is a type of tumor that develops from the lining of cells outside the brain. This type of tumor is typically benign in the sense that it only rarely ever moves (metastasizes) to areas outside the skull. However, since the tumors grow next to the brain, even benign tumors that do not spread can be problematic since they can compress structures within brain.

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Thus, meningioma treatment is highly dependent on the tumor's size, and its likelihood of causing problems. For example, if a meningioma is quite small and not causing any issues, it may be left alone and followed with imaging over time. If the tumor is larger and causing symptoms, then it should be removed surgically. If the tumor is in a location that is not amiable to surgery, then radiation therapy is sometimes utilized. The good news is that chemotherapy is rarely every used because it is really not that effective against this type of tumor. I suggest that your friend schedule an appointment with a neuro-oncologist. He or she will be able to review her imaging, perform a comprehensive neurological exam, and decide whether she would benefit from a neurosurgical consultation (which she almost certainly will). I hope that helps.

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