Meningiomas

A common type of slow growing, usually benign brain tumor that arises from one of the meninges, which are the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It is the only brain tumor that is more common in women than men. It tends to occur between 40 and 60 but can occur at any age. Meningiomas may be multiple. Most meningiomas are benign though some may be malignant. The symptoms depend on the location of the tumor and can include headaches, vision changes, changes in behavior, pain and vomiting.

William Beaumont Hospital employs a multidisciplinary approach for treating meningiomas involving both radiation oncologists and neurologists to determine the best course of treatment for each individual patient. Often people with meningiomas have no symptoms and their doctor may recommend close observation of the tumor with MRI's. If the tumor is pressing on surrounding tissue then the doctor will usually recommend treatment whether symptoms exist or not. The best treatment for each patient will depend on the patients health status and the location of the tumor. Surgery is usually the first approach if the tumor is accessible to the neurosurgeon. If the tumor is not accessible then Gamma Knife radiosurgery may be used. This treatment will use focused beams of radiation to the tumor and can help to control or shrink the tumor without causing damage to normal surrounding tissue. Another treatment option is fractionated external beam radiotherapy which will deliver smaller doses of radiation over a longer time period. This treatment is not as focused as Gamma Knife radiosurgery and therefore may cause damage to surrounding normal tissue.

Gamma Knife vs. Cyberknife