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'.