Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Meningiomas More Common In Women!

Meningiomas account for approximately 44% of all intracranial tumors in females and 21% in males. 74% of all diagnosed meningiomas occur in women. They are the only variety of central nervous system tumor diagnosed more often in women than in men and can oocur at any age but seem to be more prevalent in women over 40.

So, the obvious question to the above facts would be why more in women than men? We know we are diffeerent so surely there has to be an outstanding reason?

The only known risk factor for meningiomas is previous exposure to ionizing radiation of the head, such as being exposed to the radiation while being treated for a previous brain tumor. It has also been discovered that there is a correlation between the disease Neurofibromatosis and meningiomas. I was also advised that it could possibly be a chromosomal abnormality but due to so many not being diagnosed and the lack of funding for research in this area the reasons are largely unknown.

What we are told is that there is certain evidence that elevated levels of female hormones may promote growth or regrowth of meningiomas and these facts could account for the percentage rates above.

It could be that whilst we thought we were taking a proactive stance in looking after our bodies ladies, in a controlled fashion, the benefits of such hormonal medication as birth control, infertility treatments, hormone replacement therepy may be outweighed by the risks for a percentage of women and these medications should certainly be discussed fully and carefully for any women who have previously been treated for a meningioma.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Are Meningiomas Common?

Meningiomas are the most common type of primary brain tumour, accounting for approximately 34% of all primary brain tumours diagnosed. A surprising fact is that 2% of routine autopsies reveal primary brain tumors that have been undiagnosed putting the stated figure of 34% on the low side!

Monday, November 1, 2010

What Are Meningiomas?

Meningiomas are tumors that grow on the delicate outer covering of the brain. This covering is called the meninges.

If you have just been told that you have a brain tumor you are probably still in shock and trying to process the information. For me, I felt like everything in my life had turned upside down and nothing was making any sense. I had so many questions; am I going to die or can it be cured? What are my options for treatment, will I still be able to function as I am now? What are the risks and after effects? How do I tell my family? And what the heck is a meningioma anyway, why have I got one and how did I get it?

I had never known anyone else who had been diagnosed with a brain tumor so the first thing I did was to try and hold it together and set about finding out as much as I could about this diagnosis. Amazingly, I found that thousands of people are diagnosed with meningiomas each year! So, I was not alone and it appeared that many have successful treatments and continue on with a productive and satisfying life.

A meningioma tumor develops from the meninges, the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The mininges are made up of three layers, called the dura mater, arachnoid and pia mater. Most meningiomas are benign tumors. However, this benign brain tumor is unlike benign tumors elsewhere in the body and if they are located in a position that is difficult to access can be life threatening or cause disability. Most benign meningiomas appear to grow slowly. I was totally unaware of mine, which was 3cm diameter when removed. I was made aware of its presence because it was fighting for space and pressing into my brain which began affecting another part of my body which was concerning enough tonecessitate a visit to my doctor. Although most people develop a single meningioma, it is possible to have several tumors growing simultaneously in different parts of the brain and spinal cord. To follow my story in full take a look at my book 'My Brain Tumour'.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Russell Watson News

Russell Watson

Hope you all saw the Russell Watson interview with Piers Morgan. It was very moving and it was great to see Russell's daughters in the audience. It is fabulous to see Russell looking so well and also to see that he is now in a new relationship. I wish him all the best for a tumor free future and lots of good wishes for the up and coming tour and new album 'La Voce'.

Russell was recently put under the microscope in a Daily Mail interview which revealed a little of his life after brain surgery:
Do You Pop Any Pills?

He has regular medication along with a hormone injection at night. His pituitary gland was damaged by the brain tumour and sufficient growth hormone and hydrcortisone are not produced.

Have you tried alternative medicine like say acupuncture?

No. This was mentioned to his endocrinologist who's reaction was to turn a pale colour and comment that this would be OK if he wanted to be dead.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Newly Diagnosed

Hi everyone

I've recently heard from Christine who has been diagnosed this year. Your journey begins here Christine and I wish you a very safe one with a very happy outcome. xx

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Went for my MRI last Friday and picked up the results Monday. I think from the big smile on my face you can see the outcome. No sign of a brain tumour anywhere in there I'm pleased to report. I can settle again now until the next time I feel the need to banish the niggles.

My fabulous husband took me out for a lovely meal - seafood platter no less all washed down with a beautiful bottle of Barollo - yummy!

Updated Info? - Not Really

I read today that there has recently been an Interphone project carried out to study, once again, the possible effects of long-term heavy use of mobile phones and the increased risk of glioma or meningioma.

The International Journal of Epidemiology concluded that the topic still requires further investigation and the authors make it clear that there was insufficient data for a clear interpretation.

The main concern here is the heat generated by cell phones, believed by many as being a cause for pre-cancerous changes resulting in brain tumours. The recent study did show though an increased risk in the highest use group i.e. phones used for more than 30 minutes per day.

What are the flaws of the study?
a) A possible conflict of interest as a percentage of money to conduct the project was supplied by the phone companies.

b) Out of date results. The study centered on exposure during the 1990s and resultant brain tumours between 2000 and 2004. We are now 2010 and I personally feel usage has increased considerably and to rely on peoples recollection of their phone usage during this time is probably difficult and unreliable.

c) Data of child usage was not taken into account for the study. An important group because of their developing brains and their high usage.

It would appear therefore, as per my previous report, that the jury is till out! The UK has launched a larger study and will collect data from 250,000 people over a period of 20 to 30 years so we will have to await results.

So readers - you tell me what you think!
I am still of the opinion that the bottom line is that it would still make sense to limit prolonged use of a mobile phone and to use a headset - I have been doing this since my surgery as my precious brain tells me: -


Monday, July 19, 2010

4th Anniversary Today!

Well I'm still here and feeling great. 4 years ago today I was under the knife and my whole life (not to mention the lives of all around me) was in complete tumoil.

I think that at the time of writing I was just coming round in a whoosy state not quite sure if I was going to be the same person. Well, I actually don't think I am exactly the same person as I was. The whole experience changed my perspective on life, made me think about what is important and what's not but most of all made me really appreciate all that is around me and the people who are in it. Don't believe I don't sometimes lose my cool because it would be crass of me not make you believe otherwise but I do certainly think I have mellowed and try to follow the old cliche of 'living life to the full'.

It's now time for me to raise a glass to celebrate another year of good health and wish all of you that may be fighting a harder battle than was mine all my best wishes.

Bottoms up!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hi Everyone - Not Been Here For A While

Hi Again

I can only be held up as an example of someone that is enjoying life so much that I honestly haven't had a great deal of time to come back and update this blog. However, a few things have occurred recently that have made me check back and add a few notes.

#1. It will be my 4 year anniversary on the 19th of this month and although everything is brilliant in my life I feel for my own peace of mind it is time for another MRI just to make sure. I know I am paranoid and everybody tells me that this is unnecessary but just to quell the niggle and the occasional throb in my head I will make my appointment next week.

The thought of this always makes me teary and to be honest quite scared. I will welcome with great glee being told all in clear but what if the demon is back?

#2. I learnt with sorrow this month that a male friend who lived in the same village as me in Cornwall over 10 years ago had been diagnosed with a brain tumour. Unfortunately I do not have the full facts as to what type of tumour he has or where it is located but he has recently had surgery and the outcome is not fabulous. They have only been able to remove a third of it and he has been told it is an aggressive strain. This left me very sad for my friend and also pondering whether there could be any chance of an environmental correlation. He has always lived in this village as far as I know but I only lived there for about 8 years. So if anyone has any comments on this possibility I would love to hear about it.

#3. And, last but not least, my beautifully cool God-daughter Sarah has some GCSE coursework to complete and guess what her subject is? Brain Tumours and the possible link to mobile phones! So Sarah, my lovely take a look at the entry in older posts under Sat June 28th 2008 at the time there was great discussion on the subject. You might also be interested in reading older post: Nov 7th 2008 but there should be plenty of stuff on the blog to help you out. And, don't forget you said you would let me have any info you have on the Cornwall situation. Love and kisses - Auntie Lynda x

I will be back within the next two weeks to let you all know the outcome of my MRI and in the meantime stay well and happy everyone.