What is Meningioma?
What is Meningioma? Meningiomas are tumors that appear on the protective membranes of the brain and spinal cord (meninges). When compared with the spinal cord, the brain is more often exposed to meningioma.
Meningiomas can be benign, malignant, or atypical (in between), but more often these tumors are benign. Tumors of this type usually develop quite slowly. The majority of meningioma sufferers are elderly women, but men and children also have a risk of developing this type of tumor.
Long-term complications that can occur due to meningioma are:
- Memory loss.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Change of personality.
These complications can also occur after medical actions such as surgery and radiotherapy.
Symptoms of Meningioma
Symptoms are something that is felt and told by the patient. The main symptoms commonly experienced by meningioma sufferers are:
- Arms and legs felt weak.
- Disturbance of the sense of smell.
- The worsening headache.
- Impaired vision.
- Hearing disorders.
- Memory loss.
- Speech disorder.
These symptoms usually arise one after the other. But consult your doctor immediately if you experience seizures and impairment of vision suddenly, or loss of memory.
Causes and Risk Factors of Meningioma
Until now, it is still unclear the exact cause of meningioma. But there are some things that can increase a person’s risk of meningioma, namely:
- Exposure to radiation to the head, which can be affected when a person undergoing radiation therapy.
- Female hormones. Because meningiomas suffer a lot from women, some doctors believe that female hormones can increase the risk of meningioma.
- A defect in the nervous system such as type 2 neurofibromatosis may increase the risk of developing meningioma.
Diagnosis of Meningioma
Diagnosis is a doctor’s step to identify a disease or condition that explains the symptoms and signs experienced by the patient. To diagnose meningioma, the doctor will perform some head imaging tests such as CT scan and MRI.
In addition to imaging tests, tumor sampling or biopsy is sometimes performed by doctors and surgeons. The purpose of this tumor sampling is to examine whether the tumor suffered including the type of benign or malignant.
Treatment of Meningioma
Treatment to be lived by patients with meningioma will be adjusted with several factors such as:
- Size and position of meningioma.
- Level of aggressiveness of tumor.
Patients with meningioma are not always directly treated. If the meningioma is small and does not cause any symptoms, doctors will usually only recommend periodic imaging tests to monitor the development of meningioma.
However, there are several ways that doctors usually choose, if he decides to deal with meningioma namely:
- Surgery. If the tumor is enlarged, the doctor will perform surgery to remove all meningiomas.
- Radiation therapy. If the meningioma can not be removed completely, the doctor will suggest radiation therapy after surgery. The goal, remove the remaining tumor cells and reduce the risk of meningioma reappear.
- Drugs. For people with recurrent meningiomas and meningiomas that can not be handled by surgery and radiation, the doctor will recommend drug therapy. But until now, a truly powerful cure for meningioma is still being studied and tested.