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  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
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A meningioma is a tumor of the protective lining around the brain and spinal cord called the meninges.


Nucleus factsheet image w/ growthNULL\\filer01a\Intellect\images\exh5595a_ms.jpgNULL14NULL2004-05-04237390Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


The exact cause is not known. Genes may play a role.

Risk Factors

Meningiomas are more common in women, older adults, and people who are Black.

Other things that may raise the risk are:

  • Having a parent, sibling, or child with meningioma
  • Having neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2)
  • Exposure to radiation


Some people may not have symptoms. Sometimes a tumor can press on the brain and spinal cord. Some common symptoms may be:

  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Changes in behavior
  • Changes in vision, smell, or hearing
  • Problems speaking, writing, and understanding language
  • Nausea or vomiting

There may also be other problems depending on where the tumor is located.


The doctor will ask about symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. A neurological exam will also be done.

Images may be taken to look for tumors. This can be done with:

The tumor may be taken out to confirm the diagnosis.


Treatment will depend on the size of the tumor and where it is. A person's age and overall health will also play a role.

People who do not have symptoms may only need to have the tumor watched for changes. Others may need:


Surgery may be done if the tumor is getting larger or causing problems. The tumor and possibly some tissue around it will be removed.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is used to kill cancer cells and stop the tumor from growing. It may be an option for people who cannot have surgery. It may also be used after surgery has been done.


Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It may be an option for people who have not been helped by other methods.


Meningiomas cannot be prevented.





  • Buerki, R.A., Horbinski, C.M., et al. An overview of meningiomas. Future Oncology, 2018; 14 (21): 2161-2177.
  • Khader Eliyas, J., Lukas, R.V., et al. Challenge case report: a woman with a large dural-based lesion. Practical Neurology, 2018. Available at:
  • Meningioma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
  • Rydzewski, N.R., Lesniak, M.S., et al. Gross total resection and radiotherapy most significant predictors of improved survival in patients with atypical meningioma. Cancer, 2018; 124(4): 734-742.
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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.