What Are Meningiomas?

Meningiomas, also called meningioma tumors, are the most common type of primary brain tumors. A meningioma grows in the meninges, which are the layers of tissue that cover both the brain and spinal cord.

As these tumors grow, they compress tissue in the surrounding areas, which can have an adverse effect on the cranial nerves, leading to a wide range of neurological symptoms.

There are three different grades of meningiomas — grade I, grade II and grade III — identifying the severity of the tumor and its characteristics.

Grade I is the lowest grade of meningioma and the most common type, with tumor cells that grow slowly. Grade II meningiomas are considered midgrade tumors, meaning they could come back after they’re removed. Grade III meningiomas are the only grade that’s cancerous, and this grade of tumor is fast-growing.

While most cases of meningioma are benign, these tumors can grow steadily over time, eventually becoming very large and disabling.

Meningioma is typically diagnosed more often among older adults, and it is also more common among African Americans. Other risk factors for meningioma include excess exposure to ionizing radiation and a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis type 2.

What Causes Meningiomas?

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