Schulder said that not operating on the tumor meant that there was a chance it could grow. Depending on the tumor's size and location, continued growth could make later treatment more difficult and hazardous. He said the upside to not going the surgery route is that the tumor might grow so slowly or stop growing and the patient might not need treatment at all.
He said while surgery could remove a meningioma and could even cure a person, surgery alone posed a danger. Schulder said an "excellent" alternative treatment for patients is the noninvasive stereotactic radiosurgery, in which highly focused radiation beams treat small tumors during one or several sessions.
He said that nearly 95 percent of the time, "patients with meningiomas who receive [this treatment] have their tumor controlled."
Overall, Schulder said that women and men, including those diagnosed with breast cancer, should not be concerned. He said meningiomas were relatively rare tumors and those with breast cancer will have already been evaluated by their doctors.
Dr. Gene Barnett, director of the Cleveland Clinic's Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center, agreed, saying that even though the breast cancer-meningioma association was relatively well-known, "even then the risk of having meningioma is still very low."
"People who are 50 or older or women don't need to get MRI scans without the symptoms of a brain tumor," Schulder said. "Don't worry about that.
"A patient with breast cancer who's being followed by his or her doctor should trust the normal evaluation system. As long as they've been screened ... [they] should not long term be concerned or feel they should get MRI."