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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Dennis Pyritz, RN said...

Happy New Year! I am working on improving my blogroll- Cancer Blogs - at Being Cancer Network where your own blog is presently listed. One of the things I want to do is to improve the 800 blog entries, making them more useful for readers.

Check to see if information is correct. Please let me know your specific cancer diagnosis - the medical term. Also the year you were diagnosed and anything else you think is relevant for the listing such as a transplant. If you have written a book or memoir, I can feature it in a special Cancer Book List section. Please include the name of your blog in the email so I can put the information in the correct listing.

Cancer Blogs I & II has been a very popular (over 8000 visits) and valuable resource for folks. It allows people to view what others with a similar diagnoses have gone through. And it brings additional attention and traffic to survivor’s blogs. It is helping to build a strong, vibrant community of survivors.

Please consider adding Being Cancer Network to your blogroll if you have not already done so.

Please see my January 10 post - New Year’s New Face - for additional changes in the website. WIshing you a happy and healthy new year.

Dennis Pyritz, RN
leukemia & transplant survivor

Brain Tumor Chick said...

Hi, my name is Francis Spann (age 30) I was diagnosed with a meningioma on Oct. 27th 2009. My sisters made a blog of my journal entries from that time. Written from the Diary of a Brain Tumor Chick. A good attitude is definately what got me through the rough surgery on Nov. 30th 2009. My blog address is I loved perusing your blog and wish you all the health in the world! Thanks for sharing!

Lynda said...

Dear Francis

Thank you for leaving a comment and you cannot believe how bad I feel about only just getting back to it.

I have taken the time today to read through your whole story and the news in your latest post is very disturbing and I am so sorry and sad to hear about it. I know the emotional rollercoaster you must be going through and the total fear and panic you must be feeling and I really wish I could reach out now and literally hold you hand.

My story is so similar to yours in many ways in that regardless of what good news you hear along the way you still continue to fear what may be lurking in the dark and I' not sure this uncertainty ever goes away but the initial diagnosis is so outstandingly devastating.

When I had my tumour removed back in 2006 I was told by my neurosurgeon that I naver needed to have follow up MRI's as he had removed it in it's entirety. But did this stop me? You know the answer to that.. I had another one done at my own expense in 2008 and I have just had another done this year, for what many people would say - no reason. But there is a reason you see - it's peace of mind and still dealing with the fact that you can't believe it happened in the first place, so the whole situation remains surreal.

This weeks fear for me, (even following the brilliant news of the all clear again last week) has eventuated from reading your blog because I too continue to expereince a tingle like pins and needles in my lower left leg and foot. I had a lumbar MRI straight after my brain tumour surgery because of this tingle which showed no tumours. A worn disc that has leaked cushion fluid apparently. Does it still haunt me - you bet it does. Maybe now is the time to have a re-check!

You have a beautiful looking family and I really wish you well on your journey. Believe that there are others out there who know exactly what it is to feel angry because life really does suck sometimes.

Love Lynda