Meningioma

Meninges Layers
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The most common type of primary brain tumor is the meningioma, a noncancerous tumor that arises from the abnormal growth of the cells that form the delicate outer covering of the brain, called the meninges.

Approximately 96% of meningiomas occur within the skull, with the remaining 4% involving the spinal column. Meningiomas are the most common type of primary brain tumor, accounting for 34.4% of all such tumors. A primary brain tumor originates from the brain, spinal cord or associated tissues (called the central nervous system or CNS), while a secondary brain tumor arises from cancerous cells that have spread (metastasized) to the CNS from elsewhere in the body.

Most meningiomas (90%) are categorized as benign tumors, approximately 7–8% as atypical, and 2–3% as malignant. See the Types of Meningiomas section for a fuller discussion of these grades of meningioma. In general, most meningiomas do not actually invade brain tissue, although those that are malignant are likely to do so. Meningiomas affect the CNS by compressing brain tissue, nerves, or associated structures; causing reactive swelling in brain tissue; blocking flow of the fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) in the CNS; and/or blocking blood flow in CNS blood vessels. Each of these effects may result in various disabilities or even be life-threatening. Clearly, the term "benign" can be quite misleading in that such meningiomas may cause significant harm. However, benign meningiomas, as compared to those that are atypical and malignant, are more likely to exhibit slower growth, are less likely to reoccur, and rarely invade brain tissue.

Because most meningiomas often grow slowly, depending upon their location, a meningioma may reach a relatively large size before it causes symptoms. There is no way to know for certain how long a specific tumor was growing before diagnosis. Most people with a meningioma will have a tumor at only one site, but it is also possible to have several tumors growing simultaneously in different parts of the brain and spinal cord.


Meningiomas vary in their symptoms and appropriate treatment options depending on location. This section details locations where meningiomas are found. More >>
The WHO classification system published in 2000 is still the most common system used to classify meningiomas. More >>
Symptoms vary widely for meningiomas depending on tumor type and location. More >>
While the risk factors contributing to meningiomas are still understudied and poorly understood, research (including projects funded by the Brain Science Foundation) have uncovered numerous factors involved. More >>
Several treatment options are available for meningiomas, chosen based on several factors including the size of the tumor, its location, whether the tumor is causing any symptoms, and the patient's overall health and condition. More >>
For nearly 10 years, the Brain Science Foundation has driven research into the causes, treatment, and understanding of meningioma tumors. In fact, the foundation launched to fill the need for innovation in this poorly understood and understudied brain tumor. More >>

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