Meningioma: Risk Factors

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 04/2016

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.

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. Meningioma is most common in adults 65 years old or older, but can occur at any age. Meningioma is rare in children.

  • Gender. Women are more than twice as likely as men to develop meningioma. However, men are 3 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 may increase a person’s risk of developing meningioma decades after treatment. Low-dose radiation may be used to treat ringworm on the scalp, called tinea capitis, or used for dental x-rays.

  • 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 meningioma or more than 1 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. 

The next section in this guide is Symptoms and Signs. It explains what body changes or medical problems this disease can cause. Or, use the menu to choose another section to continue reading this guide.