Being diagnosed with a brain tumor may sound like a life-threatening diagnosis, but that’s not always the case. All brain tumors should be actively treated and regularly monitored by a neurosurgeon, but that doesn’t mean all brain tumors are cancerous or require surgery. In fact, the most common type of brain tumor is often benign, and may not even require surgery. We take a closer look at the most common type of brain tumor in today’s blog.
Fast Facts About Meningioma
- The most common type of brain tumor is called a meningioma, and it accounts for roughly 30 percent of all brain tumors. The majority of these types of growths are non-cancerous, but some can still be malignant.
- These are the most common type of brain tumor because they arise from cells in the meninges, which is the lining of the brain and spinal cord. They can grow in different locations, but if they grow inside the skull and put pressure on your brain or other structures, they can cause problems.
- Symptoms associated with meningiomas depend on the size and location of the tumor. Many meningiomas will present with headaches or vision issues, while more serious ones can causes seizures. You may also experience memory loss or balance issues if the tumor is large enough to disrupt the flow of cerebrospinal fluid.
- A lot of times, a diagnosis is made when the doctor is looking for something else, like if you’re being examined with a CT scan or MRI following a concussion. Once diagnosed, the doctor will perform a couple tests to determine how they believe the tumor will behave. If they believe there is little chance for growth, and symptoms are minimal or can be managed, they may only prescribe regular checkups.
- The majority of meningiomas do not spread. They are more likely to cause problems as an individual tumor than to be malignant and spread to other parts of the body.
- If the tumor is likely to grow, or it’s already causing significant symptoms, surgery may be recommended. Meningiomas are usually removed through a craniotomy or similar brain surgery. How exactly your neurosurgeon removes the tumor depends on the location of the growth.
- After surgery, you’ll get regular MRIs to ensure the growth is not returning. 10 years post-op, about 90 percent of patients do not see a recurrence if the entire tumor is removed.
All in all, while they can seem scary and can certainly cause health issues, most meningiomas can be safely treated if caught early enough and if they are treated by a skilled neurosurgeon like Dr. Chang. For more information about brain tumors or another neurological issue, reach out to his clinic today.