Scheme of treatment of meningioma in Germany considers a number of factors, including the tumor type and grade, location, affection of the vital brain regions and presence of the neurological deficit, overall patient’s health state, etc. While active surveillance is recommended for patients with grade I benign neoplasms, atypical and anaplastic meningiomas require surgery. Choosing the most sparing and efficient surgical technique along with the subsequent radiotherapy administration is essential for good functional outcomes and relapse prevention.
Symptoms of brain meningioma
In benign meningiomas symptoms often develop gradually due to the slow growth of the tumor. The most widespread complaints that arise at the advanced disease stages include:
- Headaches in the morning for no apparent reason.
- Seizures that are resistant to pharmacotherapy.
- Vision changes, including blurred vision.
- Weakness and / or numbness in arms or legs.
- Loss of hearing, speech problems.
- Disorders of smells perception.
Grade II and III meningiomas reveal themselves faster, bringing on more severe symptoms. In addition, clinical manifestations depend on the tumor localization in the brain. Neoplasm in the “silent brain areas” causes no symptoms for months and years, while neoplasms near the vital brain zones are potentially life threatening right after the disease onset.
In presence of one or few abovementioned complaints, it is better to see your general practitioner for the primary examination.
Diagnosis of meningioma starts from the thorough neurological examination performed by a neurologist. If necessary, the physical examination is followed by the imaging one, such as:
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan. CT scan provides doctor with full picture of patient’s brain by receiving the cross-sectional images with the help of X-rays. The information value of the test may be augmented by using an iodine-based dye.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI scan provides doctor with more detailed picture of patient’s whole brain and meningioma itself. This study uses radio waves and a magnetic field to create images of the inner brain structures, thus doctor can determine size and location of the tumor.
When possible, biopsy is performed in order to confirm a meningioma diagnosis and exclude other types of tumors. Stereotactic biopsy is the safest way of the brain tissue sampling.
Choosing the most beneficial therapeutic approach
In Germany, treatment of meningioma is performed by the multidisciplinary team that includes surgeons, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists. Other healthcare professionals, like cardiologists and endocrinologists, may be involved in the case of necessity. Depending on the tumor grade, size, and location, doctors choose between the following options:
- Watchful waiting or active surveillance is suitable for older patients with grade I meningiomas. The tumor is monitored by means of MRI and clinical assessment.
- Surgery is aimed at removing as much tumor tissue as possible without causing neurological deficit or other severe symptoms. When possible, craniotomy (i.e. open and traumatic intervention) is substituted by radiosurgical or catheter procedures.
- Radiation therapy is typically applied after the surgery in order to destroy the remaining malignant cells. It can be performed in the form of conventional, intensity modulated, and 3D conformal radiation therapy. Nominally, tumor removal by means of Gamma Knife or Cyberknife is also a form of radiation treatment.
Therapeutic program is always followed by the suitable neurological rehabilitation and continuous prophylactic observation.
Leading neurosurgical hospitals
Surgical intervention is the first-line therapy in almost all cerebral tumors. That is why such patients are typically referred to hospitals with qualified neurosurgeons and advanced equipment for stereotactic interventions. List of TOP neurosurgical clinics in Germany includes:
- University Hospital Heidelberg, Department of Adult and Pediatric Neurosurgery.
- University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Department of Adult and Pediatric Neurosurgery.
- University Hospital Würzburg, Department of Adult and Pediatric Neurosurgery.
- University Hospital Bonn, Department of Neurosurgery.
- University Hospital Erlangen, Department of Adult and Pediatric Neurosurgery.
This list is updated every year on the basis of hospitals’ annual qualification report. Feedback of patients and participation of clinics in the clinical trials are also considered. In addition, it is important to take into account age of a patient, as some hospitals admit only adults.
Trouble-free treatment of meningioma abroad with Booking Health
Leading multidisciplinary hospitals invite foreign patients for diagnosis and treatment of meningioma in Germany. Nevertheless, international patients still need to manage organizational and administrative issues. Those ones who want to avoid all the obstacles and exclude delays, may contact Booking Health.
Booking Health is the medical tourism provider with ISO certification that offers help in:
- Choosing the neurosurgical center or multidisciplinary hospital.
- Establishing distant communication with your doctor and discussing the preliminary medical program.
- Providing favorable costs for the therapy, without overpricing (saving up to 50%).
- Booking the appointment, room in the hospital.
- External monitoring of the medical program, providing additional assistance in medical questions.
- Help in buying medicines, if necessary.
- Communication with the hospital after treatment completion, receiving and translating medical reports.
- Control of the final calculation.
- Organization of follow-up examinations, neurological rehabilitation.
- Booking hotels and tickets, transfer organization.