Meningioma tumors occur in the meninges - the tissue that covers the spinal cord and brain. As they grow meningioma tumors compress brain tissue and nerves, and this compression is the reason meningioma tumors, though considered low-grade, can cause disability and even be life-threatening.
The rate of growth for meningioma tumors is difficult to predict. Some grow very slowly, others in sudden spurts. They are categorized in three grades, with grade 1 the least aggressive and grade 3 the most aggressive.
- Benign (Grade 1)
- Atypical (Grade 2)
- Malignant (Grade 3)
Though meningioma tumors sometimes show no symptoms, general symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Behavior, memory and personality changes
Tumor location and size determine the course of treatment. Doctors may choose to monitor less aggressive tumors. More problematic tumors require surgical removal.