Although every brain tumor is cause for concern, meningiomas are by far the most common, but often the easiest to treat. If you have been diagnosed with a meningioma, there are several treatment approaches that may be used, such as:
In some cases, meningiomas are diagnosed in an early stage, often because the tumor was found haphazardly when diagnosing another condition. For example, frequent headaches may warrant a CT scan to rule-out severe problems, but a meningioma may be found although it is unrelated to the symptoms. Usually, when these tumors are found early, they are relatively small and may not be causing any symptoms. Depending on the area of the brain where the tumor occurs and any other medical conditions, your doctor may prefer to simply monitor the tumor, or they might schedule surgery. Most meningiomas grow slowly, so they may be watched over several years before surgery becomes necessary. Although the idea of having a major surgery for a condition that is not currently causing you any problems can seem radical, it is ideal to remove the tumor when it is small, and the complication rate is extremely low.
Radiation therapy is another therapeutic approach which may be an option if you have other medical conditions where surgery for a smaller tumor has higher risks, your tumor is in a difficult place to reach, or you have a larger tumor that would be difficult to remove at its current size. The approach of using radiation therapy can make you think of cancer, but radiation can be used for benign conditions if the goal is to kill abnormally growing cells in a targeted manner. You may need multiple radiation treatments depending on the goal of treatments or how the tumor responds. For some people, their tumor may disappear altogether with radiation therapy, while others may need surgery after radiation to remove any residual tumor or if there is an adverse reaction to the treatments.
Most often meningiomas are found in advanced stages, because it may take many years for them to grow large enough to cause symptoms. It is these symptoms that may warrant prompt surgery to remove the tumor. Although these tumors can be alarmingly-large on brain scans, one of the advantages of these types of brain tumors versus other, more often malignant, tumors is they do not invade the brain tissue but push the brain tissue aside. Even a large meningioma may have its own capsule, making it easier to remove without damaging the surrounding tissue. Sometimes all the tumor cannot be removed, and it may be treated with radiation therapy to kill the residual cells or monitored closely to determine if another surgery would be appropriate in the future.
Although the diagnosis of a meningioma can be startling, it is a common diagnosis and is frequently treated without residual problems. Contact a medical office that specializes in neurosurgery for more information and assistance.