Meningioma: Risk Factors

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 04/2014

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about the factors that increase the chance of developing meningioma. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing a tumor. Although risk factors often influence the development of a tumor, most do not directly cause a tumor. Some people with several risk factors never develop tumors, while others with no known risk factors do. However, knowing your risk factors and talking about them with your doctor can help you make more informed lifestyle and health care choices.

The risk factors for meningioma include:

Age. Adults between 30 and 70 are most likely to be diagnosed with meningioma. Children rarely develop meningioma.

Gender. Women are more than twice as likely as men to develop meningioma. However, men are three times as likely as women to be diagnosed with cancerous meningioma.

Radiation exposure. High-dose radiation to the head may increase a person’s risk of developing meningioma. Also, low-dose radiation such as in the treatment of ringworm of the scalp, called tinea capitis, or through dental x-rays may increase a person’s risk of developing meningioma decades after treatment.

Genetic disorders. People with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) have a higher risk of developing meningioma. People with NF2 are also more likely to develop cancerous or more than one meningioma.

Race/Ethnicity. In the United States, black people have higher rates of meningioma than white people. Meningioma is more common in Africa than in North America or Europe.

Research continues to look into what factors cause meningioma and what people can do to lower their personal risk. At this time, there are no known ways to prevent meningioma. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about your personal risk of developing meningioma.

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