What is Meningioma?
Meningioma is a tumor that forms on the membranes that cover the Brain and the Spinal Cord. Typically the tumor forms between the three layers of membranes that are collectively called meninges and are often slow-growing. About 90% of Meningioma are non-cancerous or benign, but a small number of them are cancerous and grow quickly requiring immediate treatment.
Meningioma symptoms vary from individual to individual as they grow slowly and gradually. The symptoms differ according to a person’s health condition, age, and other related factors. Some of the common symptoms for different types of Meningioma have been listed below for your understanding:
- Blurred Vision
- Speech Problems
- Weakness in arms or legs
- Feeling of fatigue
- Stress around the neck
Who is at Risk?
Meningioma is a lot more common in women than in men. The Meningioma risk factors differ individual to individual depending upon their gender, age, health conditions, surroundings, etc. Certain red flags for when an individual might be at risk are:
- Radiation treatment: Anyone who has undergone radiation therapy or works under the environment when there is high radiation is at a higher risk to Meningioma
- Female Hormones: As Meningioma is more common in women, doctors connect it to the female hormones too. There are links associated with Breast Cancer and Meningioma too. Therefore, women or people with higher female hormones are at risk.
- Inheritance: The rare disorder neurofibromatosis 2 is connected to Meningioma and is usually genetically inherited too
- Obesity: Higher BMI leaves people vulnerable to many types of cancers, a higher risk to Meningioma is associated too.
Meningioma causes are largely unknown and are still under research. However, some of the causes established include the multiplying of some cells in the meninges that go out of control and cause the tumor. Here are some of the causes that are currently associated with Meningioma:
- Genetic Inheritance: People with a family history of Meningioma have chances of getting it through gene mutation
- Female Hormones: As Meningioma occurs more in women, it is related to the presence of Female Hormones
- Exposure to Radiation: Be it about living in an environment where there is high-radiation or undergoing radiation treatments, it can cause Meningioma as a side-effect
- Neurofibromatosis 2: A rare disorder called neurofibromatosis 2 increases the risk to Meningioma
- Health conditions: Lifestyle diseases like obesity can cause Meningioma
How is Meningioma diagnosed?
Meningioma diagnosis can be difficult because the tumor is slow-growing. The symptoms too can be subtle and unnoticeable until they become extreme. Usually, it is suspected and diagnosed by doctors or neurologists. Here are some of the ways to diagnose Meningioma:
- Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan: Cross-sectional images of the brain and the spinal cord reflect the presence of a tumor. Sometimes even an iodine-based dye is used to augment the picture and diagnose
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Cross-sectional images of structures of the brain and spinal cord are created using magnetic and radio waves. MRI creates a detailed picture of Meningioma and is a perfect diagnosis.
- Biopsy: Doctors sometimes undertake biopsy testing to rule out the chances of other tumors.
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How is Meningioma treated?
Meningioma treatment is done based on the size of the tumor, rate of growth, age, health conditions, and the procedure of treatment for Meningioma cure.
- Under-Observation: As Meningioma is mostly non-cancerous and slow-growing, it doesn’t require immediate treatment. Doctors advise waiting for some time and undertake periodical observation to see the rate of growth. Treatment is undertaken only when it becomes important.
- Surgery: As the tumor rests between the delicate structure of the Brain and Spinal Cord, the neurosurgeon removes the tumor completely or as much as possible to keep the treatment safe.
- Radiation Therapy: If the tumor is not removed completely in surgery, or the tumor is too small, radiation therapy is conducted to destroy the Meningioma cells.
- Alternative Treatments: Alternative methods of treating Meningioma include – Acupuncture, Meditation, Hypnosis, etc.
How can Meningioma be prevented?
Meningioma prevention can be done through several very simple things:
- Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle – A lifestyle full of a healthy diet, hygiene. An exercise routine, activities, mental wellness, and maintaining distance from sick people helps you stay away from diseases
- Quit Smoking and Drinking – Substance Abuse, smoking, and drinking are causes of a number of cancers and tumors. It is best to stay away from toxic habits.
- Maintain optimum body weight – keeping your weight in your optimum range can help lead a disease-free life