What are the Different Types of Meningioma Treatment?

K. Gierok

A meningioma is a benign tumor that is found on the surface of the brain. In order to properly treat it, it is essential that it is first properly diagnosed through the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans. Once a positive diagnosis has been made, several forms of treatments are available, and each should be considered before settling on a treatment plan. The most common types of meningioma treatments include the use of medications, surgery, and external beam radiotherapy. All of these treatments vary in success rates and possible complications.

A linear accelerator might be used for external beam radiotherapy to treat meningioma.
A linear accelerator might be used for external beam radiotherapy to treat meningioma.

In order to completely and successfully achieve meningioma treatment, it is important to first successfully diagnose the condition. Meningioma is usually diagnosed through the use of MRIs or CT scans. In some cases, numerous tests must be completed in order to accurately diagnose the condition.

One of the most common forms of meningioma treatment is the use of various medications. Often, prescription steroids are used to decrease the hallmark swelling and inflammation in the brain associated with meningioma. Other medications may be prescribed, depending on the specific symptoms experienced by the patient. For example, those who suffer from seizures may be given certain medications used to prevent or reduce the severity of the seizures in the future. Medications are typically used most successfully for those who suffer from relatively minor meningiomas or who have only mild to moderate symptoms.

Surgery is another common and effective form of meningioma treatment. Depending on its location in the brain, a meningioma may be either fully or partially removed via surgery. Patients whose tumors are not able to be completely removed usually are encouraged to undergo radiation in an attempt to completely eradicate the condition. It is important for individuals who are considering surgery to remove a meningioma to be aware that while it is possible to remove the tumor, recurrence rates of between 10 and 20% following surgery are common. In addition, other surgery complications, such as excessive blood loss, are also common during this procedure.

External beam radiotherapy is also used successfully for meningioma treatment. This type of therapy follows procedures similar to radiation, and is typically only used in cases when traditional forms of surgery are not possible. Though external beam therapy is much more expensive than surgery and is not always covered by insurance, it has been found to have a better success rate than more traditional forms of treatment. In addition, complications associated with this procedure have been found to be lower than those associated with surgery.

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