Meningioma treatment is not always necessary, especially in situations where the tumors are small, noncancerous and not causing the patient any discomfort. Benign meningiomas may be addressed with “watchful waiting,” in which physicians carefully monitor a patient with regular imaging scans and physical exams but do not make any treatment recommendations unless symptoms develop or the tumor starts to spread.
For patients who require meningioma treatment, surgery is usually the first recommendation. Depending on the size, position and location of the tumor, a surgeon may attempt to either remove the entire mass or as much as is safely possible. Symptoms tend to significantly improve after meningioma surgery.
Sometimes, surgery is the only type of meningioma treatment that a patient requires. In other cases, a patient’s oncologists might recommend one or more of the following treatments before, after or instead of an operation:
- Radiation therapy
- Hormone therapy
Throughout treatment (and periodically thereafter), a patient will be scheduled for periodic imaging scans to determine how well his or her tumor is responding and to check for signs of recurrence. Each patient’s follow-up schedule will depend on a number of factors, such as the size and grade of a tumor and whether any signs of metastasis were identified.
Patients can access comprehensive, individualized meningioma treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center, where highly skilled oncologists who specialize in treating brain cancer create each patient’s treatment plan. In a single, convenient location, patients can consult with medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, supportive care providers and clinical trial coordinators regarding the most promising treatments for their needs.