A meningioma is a type of brain tumour that starts in the brain or, occasionally, in the spinal cord.
This information describes the causes, symptoms and treatments. It should be read with our general information brain tumours, which has more details about tests, treatments and their side effects. We also have a section on spinal cord tumours.
The brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system (CNS). The brain controls different functions of the body, including how we think, feel, learn and move. The spinal cord is made up of nerves that run down the middle of the back (spine). Messages between the brain and other parts of the body travel through the spinal cord.
A tumour can be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). A benign brain tumour can cause problems as it grows by pressing on surrounding tissue, but it can’t spread to other parts of the brain. A malignant tumour can cause problems by growing into nearby tissues and may spread to other parts of the brain.
Most meningiomas are benign, although some are malignant.