Meningiomas are benign tumors that develop very slowly, and cannot even show symptoms for years. However, in some cases, the impact of meningioma on brain tissue, nerves, and blood vessels can lead to more serious conditions.
Meningioma Brain Tumor Causes
The cause of meningioma is not yet known. However, there are several factors that can make a person more at risk of developing a meningioma, namely:
- You’ve had radiotherapy in the head.
- Suffering from congenital nervous system diseases, such as neurofibromatosis type 2
- Having excessive weight.
Meningioma Brain Tumor Symptoms
The size of the tumor affects how symptoms will appear. Small tumors may not cause any significant symptoms. However, if it is already large, the symptoms of this tumor are:
- Loss of olfactory ability
- Visual and hearing impairments such as blurry vision, ringing, or deafness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Memory loss
- Epilepsy (seizures).
There may be signs and symptoms other than that explanation. If you have concerns about certain symptoms, consult your doctor.
Brain tumor meningioma diagnosis
The diagnosis of meningioma can be established by MRI examination of the head or CT-scan either by contrast or without contrast accompanied by the presence of appropriate accompanying symptoms. Definitive diagnosis uses a biopsy of mass tissue.
What should be prepared before consulting a doctor?
Before the examination to the doctor, you can prepare some of the following:
- Make a list of the symptoms you feel.
- Record the history of diseases you have and are experiencing. Same with family medical history.
- Take note of all medications, supplements, herbal remedies, or vitamins you take.
- Take note of the questions you want to ask your doctor.
- Ask family or friends to accompany you when consulting a doctor. They can provide moral support or help you in remembering information conveyed by your doctor.
What does the doctor do during the consultation?
The doctor will ask you the following questions:
- What symptoms do you feel?
- When did you first experience symptoms?
- Do you have risk factors related to meningioma?
- Do you regularly take certain medications?
- Have you ever sought medical help? If so, what treatment have you tried?
Meningioma Brain Tumor Stages
Meningioma are divided into three levels:
- Stage 1–75% of meningioma ever detected are in this class, which has the characteristics of a benign and slow-growing tumor and may not need special treatment.
- Stage 2 – For meningioma at this stage, the tumor remains benign, but may grow back
- Stage 3 – Meningioma at this stage is already malignant and grows quickly and shows the symptoms mentioned above.
Meningioma Brain Tumor Treatment
Treatment of meningioma is determined based on the size, location, and benign or malignant tumor. In tumors that are small, slow-growing, and cause no symptoms, treatment is generally not necessary. The doctor will only recommend periodic examinations to monitor the development of the tumor.
While in tumors that cause symptoms and grow quite quickly, the treatment given by a doctor can be:
Surgery aims to remove the tumor. However, if the tumor grows in an area that is difficult to reach, the tumor may not be able to be removed entirely. In this case, the doctor will only remove the tumor that is still possible to remove and use other methods to remove the rest of the tumor.
Endovascular embolization can be done if surgery cannot remove the entire tumor. This treatment aims to stop blood flow to the meningioma so that its size shrinks.
In the process, the doctor will insert a catheter into the blood vessels supplying the meningioma, then insert a special coil or glue to block blood flow to the tumor.
In addition to endovascular embolization, radiotherapy can also be performed when surgery cannot remove the tumor entirely. This treatment uses radiation energy from X-rays to destroy the remaining meningioma cells and reduce the risk of meningioma recurrence after surgery.
Chemotherapy can be done on a meningioma that does not improve after treatment with surgery and radiotherapy. This treatment aims to kill cancer cells with drugs.
If not treated optimally, it can lead to meningioma complications:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
- Personality changes
- Sensory changes
- Difficulty speaking
How to prevent meningioma
Prevention can be done by reducing exposure and maintaining a good diet. Always adopt a healthy and balanced diet with exercise.