Saturday, May 30, 2009

Meningioma Symptoms

This very tricky brain tumor still has the researchers baffled and no-one has yet conclusively shown why they appear or why they choose their victims.

What is apparent though is that nobody has the exact same experience or meningioma symptoms which also make it tricky to diagnose. Having read through meningioma survival stories and spoken to neurologists it would appear that everyone has a different story to tell. The one thing that they did all share though is the emotion of shear panic when the diagnosis if confirmed.

Meningioma symptoms are very varied due to location and what body parts or functions are being affected in that part of the brain. Before they become troublesome, many people have subtle symptoms, experienced over a long period of time, that they do not associate with brain interference and are often surprised when the meningioma is diagnosed.

Meningioma symptoms such as memory loss, carelessness and vision blurring are also problems many people have to put up with as they get older and therefore these symptoms alone would not necessarily alert us to any major problem. Meningiomas may cause focal neurological defects and these are the symptoms that often send us to the doctor initially:
Arm or leg weakness
Constant headaches

Other meningioma symptoms that may be passed by as insignificant on their own are:
Hearing loss
Loss of smell
Loss of sensation in the face
Vision Loss or visual problems

All these symptoms are caused because of increased pressure or restriction of the related function in the brain. The meningioma is fighting for space as it grows and if it is benign (non cancerous) and slow growing, can become fairly large before any symptoms become apparent. Appropriate treatment options are dependant on location but surgery is recommended if accessible to remove all or as much as possible of the meningioma.

A meningioma is a tumour of the meninges. The meninges are protective membranes around the brain and spinal cord. 90% of meningiomas are benign, 6% are atypical, and 2% are malignant. Research so far has shown that meningioma brain tumours are more common in women than men and seem to be more prevalent in the 40 - 60 year old age group. Research continues to be carried out into the possible causes of meningioma as at the present time, as with most brain tumours, no conclusive cause has been found.

The majority of meningioma brain tumors are benign - the word benign is misleading in this case as, when benign tumours grow and constrict the brain, they can cause disability and even be life threatening if not treated.
Take note of what your body is trying to tell you. If you are experiencing any strange or unusual symptoms that you are uncomfortable about, a visit to your physician is always the best remedy.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Meningioma Brain Tumor Diagnosis Needn't Be the End of the World!

I thought I'd share with you a few articles written by my husband over the last year.
First seen at :


Let's face it, on the list of scary things that can happen to someone, being diagnosed with a meningioma type brain tumor has got to be pretty high on anyones list. But, whether it's happened to you or to a loved one, a meningioma brain tumor diagnosis needn't be the end of the world.

In the summer of 2006 my wife was suffering from involuntary spasms in her leg. She initially thought this was probably a trapped nerve in her back, (Note to reader:- Unless you're a doctor, self diagnosis is a big no-no)!

When this started to happen on a fairly regular basis it became more than a little annoying and so a trip to the doctors was arranged. Thankfully we have a very good doctor who decided as a first option rather than a last one, to arrange an MRI scan. But an MRI scan on the head and not her back, where she had thought the problem may be!

The MRI scan was carried out and being rather optimistic by nature, we both thought that it would reveal nothing and that it would then be a case of physiotherapy or some such treatment. What happened next changed our lives overnight. A meningioma brain tumor was diagnosed as being the cause of the 'kicking leg' effect.

To say we were both shell shocked would be an understatement. When someone tells you you have a brain tumor, the automatic first thought is that you are going to die. Period. I know that was true for my wife and I'd be less than honest if I said that it wasn't the first thought in my head as well.

I believe it is the case that benign meningiomas are far more common in women than they are in men. The fact is though, that a meningioma type brain tumor can be one of the most operable type of tumors there is. Also, they are most often benign, which was the case for my wife.

After the initial shock had subsided a little, we started to try to think positive again. We made an appointment with the neurosurgeon and my first question to him was, "how much pain will my wife experience?" His answer came as quite a surprise.
"No pain", he said. This man was exactly the sort of person you would want if someone was going to open up your skull and start delving around inside! He was the epitome of the word 'calm'. He exuded such a relaxed attitude to the whole affair that he instilled a great deal of confidence in both of us. We both began to feel that perhaps a meningioma brain tumor diagnosis was not going to mean the end of the world after all.

And so it proved. The 5 hour operation was a completed success. The meningioma was removed in one piece and after a few days in intensive care my wife was moved to a general ward area of the hospital to complete her recovery.

I kept asking her if she was in any pain and always the answer was "no". In fact we now look back and laugh at the fact that the most pain she experienced during the entire hospital stay was indigestion from the hospital food!

Within 10 days my wife was back home and the day after that she was back working on her computer. I tried to stop her but she wanted to do it, saying she was bored and just wanted to get back to normal.

So although it's a very scary thing to be told - A meningioma brain tumor diagnosis need not be the end of the world.
You Can Read One Woman's Uplifting Story Of Her Meningioma Brain Tumor Diagnosis (and recovery) at

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