How serious is meningioma?

1 min read

Meningiomas are generally considered to be predominantly noncancerous (benign) tumours that develop in the meninges, the layers of tissue covering the brain and spinal cord. While the majority of meningiomas are benign, some may exhibit atypical or malignant features. The severity of a meningioma depends on various factors, including its location, size, growth rate, and whether it displays any concerning characteristics.

Here are key points to consider regarding the severity of meningiomas:

Benign Meningiomas:

  1. The majority of meningiomas are benign and exhibit slow growth.
  2. Benign meningiomas are often non-aggressive and may not cause significant symptoms.
  3. Surgical removal is the primary treatment, and recurrence is less common for completely resected benign tumours.

Atypical and Malignant Meningiomas:

  1. Some meningiomas exhibit atypical features or malignant behaviour.
  2. Atypical meningiomas may have a higher risk of recurrence and more aggressive growth patterns than benign tumours.
  3. Malignant meningiomas, although rare, can be more aggressive and may invade nearby tissues.


  1. The location of the meningioma within the brain or spinal cord can impact its severity.
  2. Tumours situated near critical structures or inoperable areas may pose higher risks and challenges in terms of treatment.


  1. The severity of a meningioma can also be influenced by the symptoms it causes. Tumours that lead to neurological symptoms or impair brain function may be considered more serious.

Size and Growth Rate:

  1. Larger meningiomas or those with rapid growth rates may exert pressure on the surrounding tissues and structures, potentially causing more severe symptoms.

Treatment Options:

  1. Treatment options for meningiomas may include observation, surgery, radiation therapy, or a combination of these approaches.
  2. The choice of treatment depends on various factors, including the tumour's characteristics, location, and the patient's overall health.

It's important to note that many meningiomas are discovered incidentally during imaging studies for unrelated issues and may not require immediate intervention. Regular monitoring through imaging studies may be sufficient for certain cases.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with a meningioma, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide personalized information based on the specific characteristics of the tumour. They can discuss the appropriate treatment options and provide guidance on the overall outlook and prognosis.

Back to FAQ