Meningioma is a benign (non-cancerous), slow-growing tumor originating in the meninges, the membrane layer covering the brain and spinal cord. In children, these rare tumors most often occur in the sixth or seventh years of life and are slightly more prevalent in boys than girls.
As they grow, meningiomas can compress adjacent brain tissue, affecting the cranial nerves and blood vessels. While most of these tumors are benign, a small percentage are cancerous. These fast-growing malignant tumors often cause neurological problems and swelling in the brain.
Patients with meningioma are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center through the Brain Tumor Center. Continue reading to learn more about meningioma or visit the Brain Tumor Center homepage to learn about our expertise and treatment options for this condition.
Many patients with meningiomas have no symptoms and require no treatment other than periodic observation. If symptoms do arise, they typically include:
When a meningioma is suspected, diagnostic imaging can be used for diagnosis. A magnetic resonance spectroscopy, which is done with MRI to detect the presence of organic compounds within sample tissue that can identify normal or tumor tissue, is often the best test for this condition. After all tests are completed, doctors will be able to outline the best treatment options.
The Brain Tumor Center's Peter Manley, MD discusses the side effects of cancer treatment, emphasizing the importance of treating the patient, not just the condition.