What is Meningioma?

A meningioma is an often-benign brain tumor that forms on the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord, known as the meninges. About one-third of all primary brain tumors diagnosed are meningiomas.

Nearly 90 percent of these tumors are non-cancerous, and they are often slow-growing. Occasionally a meningioma may be cancerous or atypical, so proper diagnosis is key.

Baptist Health is known for advanced, superior care for patients with neurological conditions and the diagnosis, management and treatment of concussion. Our 24/7 inpatient neurology and neurosurgery services, as well as our outpatient and Home Health physical, occupational, cognitive and speech therapy services are available to help treat people with meningiomas. In addition, we have the region’s only advanced 3Tesla MRI, MRI spectroscopy and functional MRI technology to accurately diagnose all manner of neurologic disease, including meningiomas.

You will appreciate timely appointments and a professional, friendly atmosphere where we take time to listen to your concerns. At Baptist Health, you have access to the region’s most comprehensive, multidisciplinary team of specialists and innovative therapies, including many available only through specialized clinical trials. In every way, we work to demonstrate the utmost in excellent care to those who trust us with their health.

Signs and Symptoms

Meningioma symptoms may include:

  • Arm or leg pain, numbness or tingling
  • Bowel or bladder control problems
  • Headaches that worsen over time
  • Hearing loss
  • Loss of smell
  • Memory problems
  • Seizures
  • Speech problems
  • Vision changes
  • Weakness in the limbs


To determine if someone has a meningioma, we use advanced diagnostic procedures and technology to effectively diagnose, inform treatment and carefully monitor the condition. Diagnostic procedures can include:

Biopsy: Sometimes a surgeon will need to remove part or all of the tumor to determine whether it is cancerous or non-cancerous.

Computerized tomography (CT) scan: This test uses X-rays and computers to create images of the brain and head. Sometimes, a patient will be injected with contrast dye to make abnormalities easier to see.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This test uses a powerful magnet and radio waves to produce images of the brain.


The exact cause of meningiomas is unknown. They may develop due to genetic mutations, environmental exposures, hormones or other factors.

Risk Factors

Risk factors that may contribute to meningiomas include:

Female hormones: Meningiomas are more common in women, and some physicians believe hormones may play a role in their development.

Neurofibromatosis type 2: This rare, inherited nervous system disorder increases a person’s risk of developing meningiomas and other brain tumors.

Radiation treatments: People who’ve received radiation therapy to the head may have an increased risk of meningioma.


There is no known way to prevent meningiomas.


Small meningiomas that cause no symptoms and don’t require removal do not usually shorten a person’s life. Total removal of a meningioma is possible in about 80 percent of patients with benign tumors, and three-quarters of those patients go at least 10 years without a recurrence. The 10-year survival rate for malignant meningioma is around 57 percent, with younger patients typically having better outcomes.

Treatment and Recovery

Treatment of meningiomas may include:


For people with meningiomas that recur or don’t respond to surgery and radiation, some drugs, such as hydroxyurea, can be used. Other drugs are being tested, such as those that prevent the release of growth hormones or inhibit the tumor’s ability to recruit blood vessels.


A small, benign, slow-growing meningioma that isn’t causing signs or symptoms may not require treatment. The physician will monitor the meningioma from time to time for signs of growth.

Radiation Therapy

If a meningioma is malignant (cancerous), atypical or can’t be fully removed, the physician may recommend targeted radiation to destroy remaining meningioma cells.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery

This treatment delivers a high dose of precisely targeted radiation to shrink or prevent a tumor from growing. This treatment is typically used for tumors of a certain size.


Surgery is the most common treatment and is often curative. Surgeons typically work to remove the meningioma completely but, because a meningioma may occur near many delicate structures in the brain or spinal cord, it isn’t always possible. In these cases, a surgeon will remove as much of the tumor as possible.


Meningiomas, or their treatments, can cause complications if they damage certain areas of the brain or spinal cord, including:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Personality changes
  • Seizures

Next Steps with MyChart

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