Health Team

Doctor: Sheryl Crow's brain tumor less dangerous than others

Posted June 8, 2012

Being diagnosed with a brain tumor of any kind is a scary thing, but certain benign tumors rarely become dangerous. 

Recently, singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow was diagnosed with a meningioma, a fairly common non-cancerous tumor that grows from the tissue covering the brain. 

Despite the diagnosis, Crow, 50, isn't letting the tumor interrupt her nationwide tour. 

In fact, meningiomas quite often don't have to be removed at all. Crow, a breast cancer survivor, is expected to undergo periodic brain scans to monitor her tumor in the months and years to come.

"They are almost always benign tumors, and they rarely ever progress to anything beyond that," said Dr. Warren Selman, the Chairman of Neurosurgery at University Hospitals Case Medical Center.

Crow says she discovered the tumor last fall when memory problems prompted her to get a brain scan. Selman says it isn't likely the two things are related. 

"Personally, I think it's unlikely the meningioma caused the memory loss, especially if they are just observing it at this point," he said. "Usually, that's associated with a large tumor."

Meningiomas account for a third of all primary brain tumors and usually occur in adults in their 40s and 50s. Women are twice as likely to get one, and in the rare cases they get big, the tumors can cause headaches and seizures. At that point, doctors usually consider surgery to remove the tumors. 

"When anybody hears the word tumor, obviously you're going to be concerned," Selman said. "But if you have a brain tumor, this is clearly one of the ones to have."


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  • davidgnews Jun 11, 2012

    I agree with others here, I wouldn't discount or dismiss anything. Sometimes there can be complications, and it's beyond our knowing.

  • djofraleigh Jun 11, 2012

    Perhaps if MEN were the ones more susceptible to them and having surgery the article would have read very differently. --comment

    That is an honest, unguarded reaction to the article. How big the burden must be to think that half the world is prejudiced against you, with probable effect worse than any imagined prejudice! This condition can be treated without surgery, with therapy.

    As for Crow, hope she can go on as long as possible without surgery, using it only as a last resort. My first wife had two brain surgeries, both saved her life and both greatly affected her abilities. The brain is both the strength and weakness of we humans.

  • Wlfpacker Jun 8, 2012

    I agree with the other commenters. My hubby had a meningioma removed in 1995, The result of the surgery was that it became difficult for this BSME, MBA holder to do the work he had been doing. In the past few years, it had become difficult for him to do any work. Last July we discovered that the tumor had returned and was much larger. My husband had a stroke during the tumor removal surgery in Nov and he is STILL in rehab, and is now completely disabled. I am glad that Ms. Crow's is not bad, but these tumors can't be dismissed as not dangerous. ANY brain surgery is dangerous and requires a long recovery period, and the location of the tumor can lead to devasting effects. My husband will probably never use his left arm again and his right eye won't open on its own. He is still not sitting or stnading up on his own, but the doctors believe that will come with therapy.

  • TriangleMommy Jun 8, 2012

    A brain tumor is a brain tumor, regardless of its pathology. They are all treated with the same level of seriousness. I agree 100% with the other two posters that it should NOT be downplayed.

  • naturegirl Jun 8, 2012

    I had a meningioma removed 9 months ago and am just now starting to feel anywhere near back to normal. It was diagnosed after I experienced MEMORY LOSS, severe headaches, and balance issues. Thankfully it was completely removed and I did not have seizures (which were a risk). I am also upset that this type of tumor is being downplayed, almost as if it's insignificant to have one. That is not the case at all. Perhaps if MEN were the ones more susceptible to them and having surgery the article would have read very differently.

  • 5onfarmall Jun 8, 2012

    As a meningioma survivor I am very disturbed by the way this is being downplayed by the Crow and the media. I had major brain surgery last year to remove a small meningioma deep in the center of my brain. (only a small portion was removed) It has caused much distress in my life despite the fact that it was a small one. Size is not so much the factor here, it is the location that matters most most. It has left me with double vision, balance problems,complete numbness in the entire right side of my face and head, and MEMORY LOSS! As I struggle to get awareness out there regarding this horrible brain tumor, I find it very hard to accept that others can downplay this tumor as if it is nothing to worry about. Try living with one on a daily basis and you will understand what I am talking about!!!!