Meningiomas are one of the most common ‘brain tumours’, accounting for almost 1 in 5 of all primary brain tumours. Typically they are usually found in middle-aged or elderly adults, with an increased incidence in females.
They are identified as a tumour arising from the meninges, the outer membrane sheath covering the brain and spine. Meningiomas may occur in any part of the brain or spinal cord, but most commonly are found in the cerebral hemispheres of the brain. Although these are invariably slow growing and benign tumours, they can often cause significant symptoms due to their compressing and distorting the outer surface of the brain underneath where they are growing, leading to possible paralysis, speech or coordination problems and fitting.
Due to their slow-growth, meningiomas may often may not be detected until of a significant size, sometimes out of the range that is suitable for Gamma Knife treatment. However, Gamma Knife can still play a role in the control of these tumours as it can either be used as the primary treatment for smaller lesions, or after surgery where complete removal was not possible or if a tumour has recurred post-surgery.
Further information on meningiomas is available from www.meningiomauk.org