After Kate Walsh’s shocking confession that she had a brain tumor removed in 2015, we’re discussing her diagnosis. The actress revealed that she was diagnosed with a benign meningioma the size of a lemon. Here’s everything you should know about the tumor.
In early 2015, Kate Walsh, 49, wasn’t feeling like herself. She began to feel exhausted to the point where numerous cups of coffee wouldn’t give her the slightest bit of energy. The Grey’s Anatomy actress told Cosmopolitan magazine that she had been working 80 hours per week and that she was working out so hard, therefore she didn’t overthink the odd feelings she was having. However, the symptoms of what she would later find out was a brain tumor, began to progress. Things didn’t get too serious until her pilates instructor noticed that her right side was dipping, then she swerved into the right lane while driving.
Then, cognitive issues came about. “It felt like aphasia, but it wasn’t just not being able to find words; I would lose my train of thought, I wasn’t able to finish sentences, and that was when I got really alarmed,” she said. Finally, Kate decided to see a neurologist on “instinct,” where an MRI showed that she had a tumor in her left frontal lobe — a benign meningioma. Below are 5 key things you should know about the tumor.
1. What is a benign meningioma? — The term “benign” signifies that a tumor is noncancerous. Benign tumors are noncancerous growths in the body, and unlike cancerous tumors, they do not spread to other parts of the body. Meningioma is a tumor that arises from a layer of tissue [the meninges: the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord] that covers the brain and spine, just inside the skull. In fact, 90 percent of these types of tumors are benign, since they are slow-growing.
2. What are the symptoms of meningioma? — Meningiomas often cause no symptoms and require no immediate treatment. Since they are slow-growing, symptoms, if they develop, develop gradually. The most common symptoms are headaches over a monthly period, weakness or paralysis, blurred vision, seizures, and speech issues. [Specific symptoms depend on the location of the tumor.]
3. How is meningioma discovered? — Meningiomas are rarely diagnosed before symptoms are caused. If symptoms indicate that an individual may have a tumor, a doctor will order a brain scan, an MRI and/or a CT scan for a closer look at the brain. Sometimes, a biopsy may be performed. [A biopsy is when a doctor removes a piece of tissue from the body to examine it for the discovery of any disease.]
4. How can meningioma be treated? — If the tumor isn’t causing many symptoms, a doctor may monitor it over time, which would include regular brain scans. If the tumor begins to cause progressive symptoms and the growth is threatening, a doctor will perform surgery to remove as much of the tumor as they can, or the entire tumor.
5. Who is at risk and what is the growth pattern like? — Benign meningiomas grow very slowly, therefore symptoms develop gradually, if they even develop at all. And, a meningioma has the ability to reach a relatively large size, and are the most common tumor of their type. Meningioma tumors are most common in people between the ages of 40 and 70. Middle-aged women are more than twice as likely as men to develop meningioma.
HollywoodLifers, were you shocked to hear about Kate’s tumor?