Parafalcine meningioma is a tumor type that can develop between the brain’s hemispheres. This can make treatment difficult, but many of these tumors are benign and slow growing.
Meningiomas are tumors that grow in the area around the brain and spinal cord. They’re the most common benign (noncancerous) tumors that can form in the brain.
A parafalcine meningioma is a tumor that grows on the meningeal layer between the brain’s two hemispheres. Doctors also refer to it as a falcine meningioma. Although meningiomas are typically benign, they can grow large. When this happens, it can cause severe or life threatening symptoms.
The exact cause of parafalcine meningiomas is unknown. But a few risk factors link to the condition. These include:
- Previous radiation treatment: There is a link between prior radiation treatment to the head and the risk of parafalcine meningioma.
- Neurofibromatosis 2: Neurofibromatosis 2 is an inheritable nervous system condition that links to an increased risk of brain tumors, including parafalcine meningioma.
- Hormones: Meningiomas are more common in women, and studies suggest there might be a link between breast cancer and the use of hormonal medications such as oral birth control and estrogen-based hormone replacement therapy and an increased risk of meningiomas. This could indicate hormones play a role in the risk of parafalcine meningioma.
- Obesity: There tends to be a higher occurrence of all types of meningiomas among people with higher body mass index (BMI). This may be because obesity can link to a risk of several cancer types. But the association between BMI and parafalcine meningioma isn’t yet known.
The symptoms of a parafalcine meningioma can be difficult to notice at first. As the tumor grows larger, the symptoms can become more severe. They often include:
Is a parafalcine meningioma benign?
Most parafalcine meningiomas are benign. But a small percentage of parafalcine meningiomas are fast growing.
Experts usually don’t consider parafalcine meningiomas benign. They group them into three grades. A tumor grade describes how fast growing a tumor is. For parafalcine meningiomas, the grades are:
- Grade 1: These are the most common types of parafalcine meningiomas. These tumors are slow growing and benign.
- Grade 2: These tumors are neither benign nor cancerous. They require monitoring.
- Grade 3: These are rare, cancerous, and fast-growing tumors.
The treatment options for a parafalcine meningioma depend on factors such as size at diagnosis, a person’s age, their symptoms, and their overall health. Typical treatment options include:
- Observation: Sometimes, because parafalcine meningiomas are benign, no immediate treatment is necessary. Instead, doctors can recommend close observation that includes yearly MRI scans and other monitoring. This is often for people with small, slow-growing parafalcine meningiomas that don’t cause symptoms.
- Surgery: Surgery to remove the tumor is often an option. Surgical procedures for a parafalcine meningioma can be complex because the tumor grows between brain hemispheres. Healthcare professionals may combine this treatment with other treatments, such as radiation, to improve outcomes.
- Radiation: Doctors use radiation to shrink tumors and possibly stop their growth. They use it with surgery or on its own when surgery isn’t an option.
Experts rarely use options such as chemotherapy for parafalcine meningioma. But they might use these treatments for parafalcine meningiomas that don’t respond to other treatments or that grow back after surgery.
Some people with parafalcine meningioma are also good candidates for clinical trials of treatment options such as targeted therapy or immunotherapy.
Get involved with clinical trials
If you and your healthcare team agree you’re a good candidate for clinical trials, you can check out ClinicalTrails.gov to look for open studies needing participants.
The exact cost and coverage for parafalcine meningioma treatment depends on your insurance plan, location, and the treatments you need.
To understand what to expect, you can use the ICD-10 code for parafalcine meningioma, 32.0. The ICD-10 code is how healthcare professionals bill treatments to an insurance company.
You can then look up costs with your specific insurance plan. For instance, Medicare offers this online lookup for outpatient procedures. Your insurance plan’s website might have a similar feature. If not, you can call them to ask about your coverage.
If you don’t have insurance, you can read our guide to getting healthcare without it.
Parafalcine meningiomas are tumors that grow between the brain’s two hemispheres. Although they’re typically benign, they can cause serious symptoms such as seizures, personality changes, and dementia.
Without treatment, large parafalcine meningiomas can be life threatening. Treatment options include observation, surgery to remove the tumor, and radiation to stop tumor growth and shrink the tumor.