A meningioma is a tumor that arises from the meninges — the membranes that surround your brain and spinal cord. Most meningiomas are noncancerous (benign), though, rarely, a meningioma may be cancerous (malignant). Some meningiomas are classified as atypical, meaning they're neither benign nor malignant, but rather something in between.

Meningiomas occur most commonly in older women. But a meningioma can occur in males and at any age, including childhood.

A meningioma doesn't always require immediate treatment. A meningioma that causes no significant signs and symptoms may be monitored over time.

Feb. 26, 2011