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What is the likely outcome of a benign meningioma?

A:

Quick Answer

Benign meningiomas are generally associated with good prognoses, as they have an overall survival rate of 70 percent, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. In general, the younger the patient is at the age of diagnosis, the better the prognosis.

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Full Answer

Meningiomas are slow growing tumors that develop on the surface of the brain. They account for approximately 36 percent of brain tumors in the United States, Cancer.Net reports. The vast majority of meningiomas are benign, meaning the growths do not invade other tissues and thus are not considered cancerous, states Mayo Clinic. Often, these tumors do not even require immediate treatment.

The primary danger of benign meningiomas is their potential to grow and press into other parts of the brain or the spinal column, explains WebMD. This is what causes the common neurological symptoms that are associated with meningiomas, which include headaches and weakness in an arm or leg, according to the American Brain Tumor Association. Less common symptoms can also include vision problems, seizures and even personality changes.

If a patient receives treatment for meningioma, typically surgery is performed to excise the tumor, according to Mayo Clinic. Additional treatments such as radiation therapy or, in rare cases, chemotherapy may also be used.

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