Just because you have a brain tumor doesn't mean that you need to have surgery. Observation is absolutely key for meningiomas. If it's slow growing, small and asymptomatic, doctors may be able to follow carefully with just watching the tumor. If there's a small tumor smaller than 2.5 centimeters, it has been under surveillance for years with MRIs and it's not growing or causing any symptoms, depending on its location, it may be something that can just be watched. This is most applicable to people over 40 or 50.
However, if you're young or if the tumor is large, surgery or radiation needs to be considered.
Researchers have examined the SEER database for meningiomas. They looked at over 12,000 people with meningiomas across the country. They found that 47% had no surgery or just a biopsy of their meningioma. So in that high percentage of people, their meningiomas were not treated but followed with serial imaging.
More Answers from Isaac Yang, MD